Motherless Brooklyn: 5 Facts About Edward Norton’s Twitchy Crime Drama

Motherless Brooklyn is a crime drama that is set to hit the screens in November 2019. The crime film which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on the 30th of August 2019 and scheduled to be released in the U.S by Warner Bros. Pictures on the 1st of November 2019, tells the story of Lionel Essrog who tries to solve the murder case of his mentor in New York. Below are some important facts you never knew about Motherless Brooklyn that we think are worthy of note as we anticipate the movie’s release.

5 Facts You Should Know About Motherless Brooklyn

  1. The Movie Is An Adaptation Of A Novel

Not many people know that the crime drama Motherless Brooklyn is a film version of a novel. The movie is based on a crime novel of the same name which was written by Jonathan Lethem and first published in 1999. Just as the name depicts, the movie, just like the novel, is set in Brooklyn. It follows Lionel Essrog, a detective who has Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary facial grimaces, tics, grunts, shouts and uncontrollable use of obscene language. The drama version which is to be distributed by Warner Bros. was written, produced and directed by Edward Norton. Production for the crime drama began in February 2018. The novel, Motherless Brooklyn have so far won the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and the 2000 Gold Dagger award for crime fiction.

  1. Release Dates

The noir mystery crime drama is expected to hit the theaters on the 1st of November, 2019. After two decades of preparation, there is a whole lot of fever in the air in expectations. As aforementioned, Motherless Brooklyn had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on 30th August 2019, debuted at the Toronto film festival on 10th September 2019 and will be released in the US on 1st of November 2019, followed by the UK on the 29th of November, 2019. It will screen as the closing film for the 2019 New York Film Festival.

  1. The Setting Of The Movie Is Different From The Novel

Unlike the plot of the book which Jonathan Lethem set in the ’90s, Edward Norton’s version of Motherless Brooklyn was set in the ’50s, allowing him to toy with sensitive issues of the time. Edward has really been passionate about telling the history of New York in the ’50s. He calls this 1950’s period “the secret history of modern New York, with all of its kind of institutional racism and the devastation of the old city from neighborhoods right up to Penn Station, perpetrated at the hands of an autocratic, almost imperial force, who was intensely antagonistic to everything we think defines American democratic principle. That is not a history most people are actually familiar with.”

Although some critics have commented that some scenes did not look realistic for the 1959 Brooklyn society which was still combating racism, many gave the film good reviews. Winding back the clock as Norton did is bound to give the drama a huge difference from the novel which was set in the modern Brooklyn society and would make the noir even more literal than the novel.

4. Edward Norton Has Been Working On The Movie Since 1999

Norton has been on Motherless Brooklyn pretty much since the release of the novel in 1999, he finished writing the script in 2012. The relevance of the movie rose in 2016 with the advent of Trump’s administration, making the marketability of the film soar. The film took this long because Norton moved the setting away from modern society to the era of a punched-up sepia society, swirling in an opaque world of smoke and soot. It is not an easy feat to work on a movie for two decades.

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  1. Movie SoundTrack Was Done By Thom Yorke

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, who had gained widespread acclaim last year for Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” wrote an original song for Motherless Brooklyn. Norton had emailed Yorke the Motherless Brooklyn script and requested him to make a song for the movie. Two weeks later, Yorke replied with an already composed original song for the film titled “Daily Battles”. The soundtrack of Yorke on the piano singing the Daily Battles was so emotional that Norton confessed that he cried while listening to it. He thereafter added some of the lyrics to the script of the film and asked jazz musician Wynton Marsalis to make a ballad out of it. The song was rearranged to a ballad resonant of 1950s Miles Davis. Both versions of the song were released on streaming services on 21st August 2019 and will be released as a vinyl single on 4th October 2019.


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