According to Deadline, acclaimed filmmaker Taylor Hackford (Ray) is currently developing a brand new film noir project entitled Sniff, centered around two retired detectives. Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino and Helen Mirren have officially signed on to star in the upcoming film alongside Oscar nominee Danny DeVito. This marks Mirren’s recent collaboration with Freeman and Pacino after the 2010s Red and the 2013s Phil Spector, respectively.
During an interview with the outlet, Hackford revealed that he was inspired by Rian Johnson to reinvent and jump start the film noir genre, just like what Knives out instructor did with the whodunit genre.
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“Normally you don’t want to mention other films, and that has nothing to do with that film in terms of history,” Hackford said. “But I loved what Rian Johnson did in terms of taking an old genre, whodunit, and spice it up with life and making it real in the contemporary situation. That’s what I’ve in mind for Sniff in film noir. There is a stylistic quotient in the writing and the characters that gives the audience light. There is a delight in film noir, especially when you get a Bogart, a Mitchum, someone who knows how to deliver good dialogue. That’s what Tom wrote, and I think it’s going to be fun with the actors. Basically, I’m serious about film noir and that it’s getting dark and hard. There will be laughter and smiles in the film, but as it goes, it gets darker and darker and it pays off. If you use film noir and it can not pay off in a very climatic way, it becomes a euphemistic use of that twist, and it is not. We have good racehorses on a really interesting track and when that happens, there is potential, if I do my job, to release a memorable film. ”
Described as a stylish reinvention of the film noir genre, Sniff is directed by Hackford from a script written by Tom Gray. Production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022.
“In the film, two residents die under suspicious circumstances in a luxury retirement community,” reads the official synopsis. Retired Detective Joe Mulwray (Freeman) is pulled back into the action by his former partner William Keys (DeVito), and they reveal a hidden underworld of sex, drugs and murder in the affluent society controlled by the royal maid Harvey Stride (Pacino), and his femme fatale enforcer, the Spider (Mirren). Sniff is an acronym for Senior Nursing Institute & Family Foundation. ”
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Sniff will be produced by Hackford for Anvil Films with Adam Goodman and Matt Skiena for Dichotomy Creative Group. It will be produced by Gray.