Warner Bros. has acquired North American rights to "The Nice Guys," a 1970s-set noir that will team Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe with "Iron Man 3" director Shane Black.
Black will direct the film, which he co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi. The story centers on a private detective and a hired bruiser investigating the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in Los Angeles.
Both Crowe and Gosling have experience playing hard-boiled types: Crowe in "L.A. Confidential" and "American Gangster," and Gosling in the less-successful "Gangster Squad."
Crowe is coming off his well-regarded performance in the biblical epic "Noah," but for Gosling, "The Nice Guys" marks a return to more commercial fare after a string of arthouse endeavors including "Only God Forgives," a critical and box-office dud, and his directorial debut, "Lost River," which garnered poor reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
For Black, "The Nice Guys" should provide plenty of room to apply his usual combination of dark humor and snappy dialogue. He's a veteran of the crime-caper genre, having arrived as a Hollywood enfant terrible with his script for Warner Bros.' 1987 buddy-cop classic "Lethal Weapon" and made his directorial debut with the self-referential murder mystery "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" in 2005 (also distributed by Warner Bros.).
Both those films were produced by Joel Silver, who is also on board for "The Nice Guys."