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Dennis Lehane’s LIVE BY NIGHT A DiCaprio Vehicle
Second Novel In Lehane Trilogy Due In October
Even within the context of hardboiled, dialogue-driven crime novelists, it occurs to me that the work of Dennis Lehane might translate to the screen as readily as anybody else in the noir/mystery business, and that perhaps his novels make much better movies than they do novels.
I mean this as a compliment, backhanded as it may seem. Nothing wrong with a good movie, by golly, and God knows the screenwriters out there aren’t drowning the studios with a tidal wave of quality scripts. Lehane is one name that you can take to the bank.
For that matter, so is Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo’s (and/or his management team’s) eye for projects is about as sharp as they come, and usually (J. Edgar notwithstanding) will pay big dividends for studios willing to shell out for his services. The Lehane/DiCaprio one-two punch has thus far scored a KO with Shutter Island, and Warner Bros. is counting on that fact with the acquisition of Lehane’s Live By Night, reported today by Deadline.
Live By Night is Lehane’s upcoming Prohibition-era novel, the second in a trilogy by Lehane that started in 2009 with The Given Day, a 700-plus page slab of turn of the twentieth-century Boston delight. Like Lehane’s more contemporarily framed pieces, and perhaps even more so, The Given Day trolls the backstreets.
While the Live By Night novel has not yet seen the light of day, you can bet that it will be a massive undertaking from a filmmaking perspective, as period pieces invariably are. Prior to the DiCaprio acquisition, the book had been optioned by Sam Raimi, but according to the Deadline source piece, that option has lapsed. It is unknown as of now who will direct the picture, but with these two heavy-hitters attached, you can bet that a long line will begin forming right about…now.