Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 helmsman Shane Black has a finger in several pies right now, including a movie adaptation of the Doc Savage pulp adventure novels, a new installment in the Predator franchise (an “inventive sequel,” as Black calls it), and a film based on Warner Murphy and Richard Sapir’s Destroyer paperback novels.
However, we can now safely say that Black’s next project will be the noir/detective film The Nice Guys. Production on the film will begin this fall (according to the official press release from Warner Bros.), so that the project can make a Summer 2016 release date. Producer Joel Silver, who’s been working alongside Black as far back as 1987’s Lethal Weapon (which Black wrote), praised the Nice Guys screenplay in his official statement, claiming it reflects “Shane’s great cinematic voice.”
Similar to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Nice Guys boasts an original script penned by Black and his current writing partner, Anthony Bagarozzi. The similarities don’t end there, as the Nice Guys premise (like Kiss Kiss) draws from detective/Noir genre elements and combines them with buddy movie tropes (an area where Black is something of a specialist) – pairing Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, in a plotline that has been officially summarized as follows.
“The Nice Guys” takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, when down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Gosling) and hired leg-breaker Jackson Healy (Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.
Nice Guys is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on June 17th, 2016, which is the same date set for DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 3. Other titles currently on the docket for arrival that month include Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, Sony’s Uncharted video game movie, and the Mummy property reboot from Universal – making Black’s detective drama stand out all the more as the rare example of a non-tentpole, non-franchise genre movie aimed at adults during that frame.
Indeed, as much controversy as Black’s creative decisions on Iron Man 3 continue to stir up within the geek community, the filmmaker certainly has a decent-sized fanbase all his own – and the majority of its members should be more than happy to show up for Nice Guys. Having Gosling and Crowe as the leads won’t hurt, either.
The Nice Guys opens in U.S. theaters on June 17th, 2016.