Even though Guy Ritchie is about to start production on the film adaptation of the 1960s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for Warner Bros., it looks like the director is already eyeing his next directorial effort. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has purchased the rights to Thomas Kelly’s 2006 period novel Empire Rising and they want Guy Ritchie to direct the adaptation. The story centers on a love triangle set in 1930s New York City.
Here’s the official synopsis of Thomas Kelly’s novel:
It is 1930, and ground has just been broken for the Empire State Building. One of the thousands of men who will come to work high above the city is Michael Briody, an Irish immigrant torn between his desire to make a new life in America and his pledge to gather money and arms for the Irish republican cause. When he meets Grace Masterson, an alluring artist who is depicting the great skyscraper’s rise from her houseboat on the East River, Briody’s life suddenly turns exhilarating–and dangerous–for Grace is also a paramour of Johnny Farrell, Mayor Jimmy Walker’s liaison with Tammany Hall and the underworld.
Guy Ritchie, who has directed films such as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and the recent Sherlock Holmes films, will obviously be treading into different territory here if he signs on to direct. Ritchie is no stranger to the romance genre though. Back in 2002, he directed the romance feature Swept Away starring Madonna but hasn’t returned to the genre since. If Ritchie signs on to direct Empire Rising, consider me very interested. Make sure to check back for more updates.