A few years back it seemed like Russell Crowe was in just about every movie hitting the big screen. His fame hasn’t faded but he’s slowing his roll a bit with just one film scheduled for this year, the RZA’s feudal China actioner The Man With the Iron Fists, and one for 2013 where he’ll play Superman’s father, Jor-el, in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Crowe will be adding at least one more film to his sparse release schedule with Broken City, according to Deadline, where he’ll join Mark Wahlberg for a sleek, noir drama.

Broken City stars Crowe as the town mayor who hires an ex-cop private investigator (Wahlberg) to spy on his wife, whom the mayor suspects is cheating on him. It turns out that she is, and mere days after Crowe finds out, his wife’s lover turns up dead. At this point Wahlberg begins his personal investigation into Crowe’s life, uncovering shady real estate deals and most likely proof that he murdered a man to stop his wife from cheating on him.

The script comes from rookie writer Brian Tucker, his first writing effort, and will be directed by Allen Hughes, half of the twin brother directing team that brought us Dead Presidents and more recently The Book of Eli. His resume, which started with the gang classic Menace II Society, proves that he’ll be able to deliver a taught, suspenseful crime drama without really breaking a sweat. Though the writer will need to prove himself, such a seasoned director should be able to craft whatever script he gets into something outstanding.

Wahlberg will also be producing this independently funded film alongside Stephen Levinson, Randall Emmett, George Furla, and Hughes himself. This won’t be a high budget film and most will go to the two big names they can put on the poster, but there’s a caliber in the producers that we can expect big things from. More on Broken City as production heats up.

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