Movies love the Empire State Building whether it’s being used as a ladder for King Kong, the focus of Andy Warhol’s obsession, a landmark for aliens to destroy, a romantic meeting point for Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, or just a picturesque backdrop. Now, we might get the chance to see Guy Ritchie’s take on the landmark.
Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to Thomas Kelly’s 2006 novel Empire Rising, which uses the backdrop of the construction of the famed building and a corrupt and downtrodden New York as the stage for a love triangle between an Irish immigrant steelworker, a man entangled in local politics, and the beautiful artist who captures the attention of both men. Ritchie is being eyed to direct the film, and Kelly is already set to pen a screenplay based on his novel. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.
Ritchie has an active relationship with Warner Bros., who released both Sherlock films and is currently in pre-production on the adaption of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill for the studio. He’s also proven himself adept at creating elaborate period city-scapes. This isn’t Kelly’s first venture into screenwriting either — he’s an executive producer and writer and on the 19th century-set BBC drama Copper, and was also a writer and producer on Blue Bloods.
There’s no word yet on timing for the production.