When Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) signed on to direct, Motor City became a priority at Warner Bros. The next step is to find the right star to play “a felon who, after being released from prison, begins tracking down the men who framed him.” It will be tricky to pull off, because the screenplay by Chad St. John that made the 2009 Black List is said to contain just a few lines of dialogue. An early report suggested Chris Evans, Joel Edgerton, and Jeremy Renner were in contention. All strong choices, but Variety adds another in more serious talks with the studio: Dominic Cooper. Cooper shined a little less brightly than fellow candidate Evans in Captain America this summer, but that was just a paycheck compared to the showier vehicle Cooper had in The Devil’s Double. Producer Joel Silver was reportedly so impressed with Cooper’s performance in a dual role in The Devil’s Double that he sought the actor out for Motor City.
The premise is instantly alluring, even if the latest draft isn’t quite so dialogue-free as it used to be. I don’t know how to phrase this less awkwardly, but… Cooper has a really interesting face. It’s the wide-set eyes. Perfect for this kind of role, especially since he has the chops to back it up.