Will ‘The Nice Guys’ Be Ryan Gosling’s Next Hit Film?

Ryan Gosling, The Nice Guys

Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Gosling hasn’t appeared on the big screen since last year, but his next big film project is now officially in the works. The actor is teaming up with Russell Crowe for Warner Bros.’ upcoming detective thriller, The Nice Guys, set for release in summer 2016.

The Nice Guys takes place in Los Angeles in the 1970s and follows the story of Holland March, a private eye and practicing alcoholic (Gosling) who finds himself working with muscle-for-hire and recovering alcoholic Jackson Healy (Crowe) after the suicide of a female porn star whose career was on the decline. But there’s more to the death than meets the eye. When the victim’s aunt insists that she saw her niece after her alleged suicide, the two kick off an investigation that eventually leads them to uncover a much bigger criminal conspiracy rooted in the U.S. auto industry.

Having secured the two leading men in the starring roles, the studio is working on rounding out the rest of the team, as well. Per Deadline, Shane Black is set to helm the film in his first directorial effort since last summer’s Iron Man 3, which went on to gross more than $1.2 billion worldwide. The project also reunites Black with producer Joel Silver. The duo formerly worked together on developing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the Lethal Weapon franchise.

The script, co-written by Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzo, has been in development for several years. According to Variety, a staged reading was even held at the Austin Film Festival in 2011. The project began to gain momentum in recent months and is now finally on track to hit theaters.

“Ever since we did Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I’ve been eager to work with Shane again, and with this film we made it happen. It’s a terrific script written in Shane’s great cinematic voice,” Silver said of reuniting with the director, per The Wrap.  ”With Russell and Ryan on board, I know we’re in for another wild ride.”

Oscar winner Crowe and Oscar nominee Gosling certainly make for a strong onscreen pair. The two reportedly started expressing interest in the project in June, but reps maintained that any confirmation of the actors’ attachment to the film at the time would be “premature” and that Crowe was initially unsure if the project would conflict with already crowded schedule. Now that the two well-respected actors have officially signed on, interest in the movie has amped up considerably, generating buzz among fans.

It seems like The Nice Guys could be the perfect vehicle to bring Gosling back into the limelight after a mostly absent year. He hasn’t appeared on the big screen since 2013’s Only God Forgives, the latest of Gosling’s long list of crime dramas in recent years, also including 2013′s limited release The Place Beyond the Pines and Gangster Squad, and 2011′s Drive. He also directed this year’s thriller Lost River. Meanwhile, Crowe most recently appeared in this year’s box office bomb Winter’s Tale and the much more well-received, biblically inspired epic Noah. He is also expected to soon launch the publicity tour for his upcoming directorial debut, The Water Diviner.

With the pieces finally falling into place, The Nice Guys certainly seems off to a promising start. The studio also seems confident in the project, giving it a prime summer release date. Still, we’ll have to wait to see if it will really live up to its potential. The film is set to begin production in the fall and is scheduled to hit theaters on June 17, 2016.

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