The Nice Guys Director Lines Up Newest Movie And Cast

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Russell Crowe

Shane Black has helped bring some of Hollywood’s greatest films to life: he went from writing hit movies like Lethal Weapon and Predator to directing great films like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys. Now, he is stepping into the director’s chair yet again, and it looks like he is bringing some major talent with him. Black will be directing a cinematic adaptation of Play Dirty, a film that will star both Mark Wahlberg and LaKeith Stanfield.

The Parker Novels

Unlike most of Shane Black’s earlier works, this film is a literary adaptation from an author that modern audiences may not be overly familiar with. Play Dirty adapts the Parker novels that were written by Donald E. Westlake, a prolific writer who passed away in 2008 and often published under pseudonyms such as Richard Stark. In Westlake’s books, the Parker character is a coldhearted criminal who won’t hesitate to commit any crime (up to and including murder) if it helps him achieve his own goals.

Mark Wahlber’s Role

mark wahlberg dave bautista

Mark Wahlberg will be playing the Parker role in Play Dirty, and we’ve got a feeling he will imbue the Parker character with a bit more of a likable personality than what we see in Westlake’s books. However, the general plot of Shane Black’s film should sound very familiar to anyone who is familiar with Westlake’s extensive output of crime novels.

In the film, Parker’s professional thief gets betrayed and left for dead, and in the course of trying to carry out his revenge, he stumbles onto the opportunity to pull off the heist of a lifetime.

LaKeith Stanfield As Grofield

Fortunately, Parker won’t have to try to pull off all these criminal hijinks on his own. In Shane Black’s movie, LaKeith Stanfield will play Grofield, a former actor who has embraced a brand new career as a con artist. With his help, Parker might just be able to outwit the three parties that are coming for him: the New York mob, a bloodthirsty South American dictator, and even the richest man in the entire world.

Robert Downey Jr’s Involvement

Shane Black directed Robert Downey Jr. twice before: once in 2005’s amazing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and again in the 2013’s woefully underrated Marvel film Iron Man 3. While the former Iron Man actor won’t appear onscreen for Play Dirty, he will be serving as executive producer. With any luck, he will help make this new film another major hit for his former director.

LaKeith Stanfield’s Rising Star

While we’re excited to see familiar talent like Mark Wahlberg star in this Shane Black film, we’re a bit more excited to see what LaKeith Stanfield will do with such a meaty role. Previously, the talented actor received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah, and he was equally impressive in both the film Sorry to Bother You and the television show Atlanta. Play Dirty may be his biggest film yet, and we think he’s got the acting chops to dazzle the entire world.

When Will Play Dirty Release?

movie of the year

Of course, we won’t know for sure until Play Dirty hits theaters. It doesn’t currently have a release date, but in a world dominated by sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots, we’re definitely willing to wait for something this fresh and original. Given Shane Black’s amazing talents as a writer (he is also helping to pen the script), we’re sure this film will be filled with quotable scenes that eventually earn it a place in our pop culture pantheon.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter