The first of many Toronto International Film Festival marketplace announcements is the news that Academy-Award winning director Taylor Hackford will attempt to pull off ‘a stylish reinvention of the film noir genre’ with his retirement home murder-mystery noir Sniff. More intriguing than that though is the fact that he’ll have Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino, Helen Mirren, and Danny DeVito on board to help him achieve it.
According to Deadline, the director of Ray will work from a script by Tom Grey which tells the story of detective Joe Mulwray (Freeman) and his partner William Keys (DeVito) as they investigate a high-end luxury retirement community after the mysterious deaths of two of its residents. What starts out as a normal case quickly turns strange, as the detective duo uncover a hidden underworld of sex, drugs and murder controlled by senior living community kingpin Harvey Stride (Pacino) and his femme fatale enforcer The Spider (Mirren).
Speaking about the development of Sniff (via Deadline), Hackford said “I have always been a big fan of film noir but haven’t really made one, though I did make Against All Odds. That was a remake of Out of the Past, which is one of the best film noirs ever. I didn’t want to make a shot for shot redo of that, but took it as inspiration. Adam and Matt Skiena sent me the script, over the transom to my agent, and I was delighted. First-time screenwriter who has amazing style and conceptually understands what makes film noir stick. The whole concept of setting a film noir in an upscale retirement community … these are proliferating all over the United States as the baby boomer generation gets to retirement. There’s a lot of money, and people want to live in a beautiful setting. Those are on the brochures, but what Tom Grey did was show what was lurking below the surface. I thought it was a brilliant idea and he understood the nature of good noir — the dark story, the incredibly twisted characters — and I thought he had a great handle.”
Hackford continued to reveal that he hoped to have Sniff ready to hit theatres at the end of 2022. Let us know whether you’ll be heading to a cinema near you to see it by hitting up our social channels @FlickeringMyth….