William Monahan and David Michod Top the Shortlist to Direct ONCE WERE COPS

     November 17, 2010


William Monahan (The Departed) and David Michod (Animal Kingdom) are the lead candidates for the director’s chair of Once Were Cops, an adaptation of Ken Bruen’s crime novel.  Bruen tells the story of a pair of unstable cops in the NYPD: “the two unlikely partners become a devastatingly effective force in the war against crime.”  The setting of the film will sub Boston for New York to better accentuate the Irish roots of the central character.

More, including the full synopsis of the book, after the jump.

Monahan made his name as a screenwriter, winning an Oscar for his screenplay for The Departed.  Monahan makes his directorial debut with London Boulevard, a Colin Farrell-led gangster tale set for a February 2011 release in the U.S.  The UK gets it a few months early, on November 26th.  By all accounts, the lucky Brits are in store for a solid first feature.  Monahan has already signed on for his next, an adaptation of the 1959 play Becket.

The city of Boston has played a major role in the prior work of Beantown native Monahan, as the setting at the forefront of both The Departed and this year’s Edge of Darkness.  It’s only natural he would make this shortlist.  Michod is a less obvious choice, though equally exciting.

2010 was a breakout year for Michod, kicked off by landing two films in Sundance.  The first, the Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom, earned really strong critical notices earlier this summer.  The second, Hesher, stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman with a release promised for January 2011.once_were_cops_book_cover

According to TheWrap, David Logan (Hotel Babylon) penned the adaptation.  The story sounds a bit crazy — but in a good way:

Michael O’Shea is a member of Ireland’s police force, known as The Guards. He’s also a sociopath who walks a knife edge between sanity and all-out mayhem. When an exchange program is initiated and twenty Guards come to America and twenty cops from the States go to Ireland, Shay, as he’s known, has his lifelong dream come true–he becomes a member of the NYPD. But Shay’s dream is about to become New York’s nightmare.

Paired with an unstable cop nicknamed Kebar for his liberal use of a short, lethal metal stick called a K-bar, the two unlikely partners become a devastatingly effective force in the war against crime.

But Kebar harbors a dangerous secret: he’s sold out to the mob to help his sister. Her rape and beating leaves her in a coma and pushes an already unstable Kebar over the edge just as Shea’s dark secrets threaten boil over and into the streets of New York. [Amazon]

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