Warner Bros. has revealed the first trailer for Motherless Brooklyn. This is surely going to be a movie that is hot on the awards season trail, as Edward Norton not only returns for his first starring role in several years, following Birdman and Collateral Beauty. But the Oscar-nominee also serves as director and writer of the screenplay. Couple that with a massive, impressive ensemble, compelling source material all wrapped up in a high-dollar crime drama and this becomes instantly compelling. And did we mention that Norton is playing a detective who has Tourette's?

The trailer opens by showing us a glimpse at the life of Edward Norton's character. We see he's not having the easiest time getting through the daily grind, given his social awkwardness, largely brought on by his Tourette Syndrome. We then get to the meat of the whole thing, which sees Norton's mentor, played by Bruce Willis, gunned down. It then evolves into a gritty crime thriller, with Norton desperately trying to solve the case. It's twisty, tense and slick. There's even a song from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke playing in the background to seal the deal.

Aside from Edward Norton and Bruce Willis, as mentioned, the cast is stacked. The ensemble also includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Cherry Jones, Michael K. Williams, Leslie Mann, Ethan Suplee, Dallas Roberts, Josh Pais, Robert Ray Wisdom, Fisher Stevens, Alec Baldwin and Willem Dafoe. It simply doesn't get much better in terms of a collection of on-screen talent.

Motherless Brooklyn is set against the backdrop of 1950s New York and centers on Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome. He is trying to solve the murder of his friend and Mentor, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Lionel has just a few clues and his obsessive mind to work with as he discovers deep secrets that have major consequences for the whole city. The mystery carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn, and even to the halls of New York's power brokers. Along the way, Lionel must go up against thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman he loves.

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Edward Norton adapted the screenplay based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Lethem. Curiously, the novel was set in the 90s, yet Norton thought it would be best to take his version back to the 50s. Norton also serves as a producer alongside. Bill Migliore, Michael Bederman, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane. Executive Producers include Adrian Alperovich, Sue Kroll, Daniel Nadler, Robert F. Smith and Brian Niranjan Sheth. The movie will play at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and at the New York Film Festival in October. Motherless Brooklyn is set to arrive in theaters on November 1. Be sure to check out the trailer from the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel for yourself.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott