Access to our coverage library is now available for free to agents and managers, directors and producers, development and productions executives, and assistants to all of the above. Want to see all of this project's details instead of just this teaser? Sign up for access here.
MarketJune 5, 2012SoldMarch 6, 2013 ProducerBrooklyn Weaver AgentGeoff Morley, Jason Burns (United Talent Agency) ManagerBrooklyn Weaver (Energy Entertainment) ProductionThunder Road Pictures, Energy Independent Was with Aldamisa since March 2013. Thunder Road took ownership of the project in February of 2016.
Freelancer, Contraband, Savages, The Town, The Departed, Big Heat, Four Brothers, Assault on Precinct 13.
Present / A few days. Also 15% two years prior / one day.
Present-day Detroit, MI. Mostly in ratty apartments, dive bars, cheap motels. Several scenes at Port, involving contraband shipments. A couple of car chases and a shoot-out at an abandoned rail station. Other shoot-outs in ratty apartment and stash house. Visiting room and hallway in prison.
Is this a revision of an earlier submission that we reviewed?Add optionSave
Is this screenplay optioned, or was it previously optioned?Add optionsSave
Has this script placed or won any competitions?Add optionsSave
Is anyone attached?Add optionsSave
Do you have literary representation?Add optionsSave
Any additional Notes?Add optionSave
Are you a produced screenwriter (film or tv)?Add optionsSave
What Companies are attached?Add optionsSave
Is this screenplay on market or has it been sold?Add optionSave
Detroit cops NEIL (34) and LAZ (27) catch a young drug dealer. Neil lets the dealer go, dumping his heroin but keeping his money, which Neil gives to his wife MOLLY (31) at a bar owned by underworld kingpin BISHOP (48), where she works. At home, Neil finds his son TREV (11) with Neil's father, GRAHAM (52). Graham, a criminal, requests Neil's help making a drug deal because he owes Bishop $100 thousand and his life is on the line. Neil reluctantly agrees. They meet up with MANNY (38), the buyer. Manny reveals he is DEA and arrests them after a brief altercation. Two years later, Neil gets out of prison. His brother, SPENCER (28), a junkie and runner for Bishop, picks him up. At the pub, Bishop informs Neil that since Graham is dying of cancer in prison, his father's debt is now Neil’s problem--and offers him work to pay it off. While he thinks on it, Neil tries to reconnect with his wife and child, but Molly rebuffs his advances. Bishop runs "protection" at the port for smugglers like Russian PAVEL (43) and then narcs to corrupt FBI agents, who steal the take and get a cut. Bishop...
Driven by thoughtful descriptions and a fully realized protagonist, “Murder City” is a compelling action drama that details one man’s journey to save his family. When protagonist Neil is released from prison after a sting operation takes him and his father down, his father’s boss, and the main crime lord in Detroit, seeks him out, telling him that he must work off his father’s debt or risk the death of his family. Knowing that he has no other way out, Neil takes up work with criminals while seeking out the help of the DEA that stripped him of his badge and threw him in jail. Conflict is strong and constant. Dialogue and action sequences effectively keep pace and the structure is sound and effective....
"Murder City" is a compelling portrayal of urban Detroit street crime. The characters a real, the premise grabs and holds attention, and the dialogue is authentic. Neil is a cop who is thrown to the wolves of the underworld. With neither the law nor the mob to turn to for help, he bears the burden of high stakes decisions that directly effect his family. The villains are ornery and relentless. The cops are crooked. The murder scenes are intense and, at times, difficult to bear. Vendettas and rich backstory thrive in this film noir thriller....
“Murder City,” is a hardboiled exercise in ultra-violence featuring a well-structured but standard set-up that blurs the lines between cops and crooks. Protagonist Neil is the usual gruff, disgraced cop forced into working on the wrong side of the law after losing his badge, and eventually pushed to a blind revenge rampage after his wife is murdered. There are corrupt feds, a druggie delinquent brother, a low-life dad, various underworld caricatures (the Russian, the ghetto gangbanger), and of course the sufficiently despicable man in charge (Bishop) and his sinister hitman (Angus). The error-free writing reads like a dime detective novel—vividly depicting the sordid world of the fiction, but also consistently hovering near overwritten and unwieldy as the style often does. Every scene serves a purpose and minor points, whether Neil’s treatment of Otis, Wick’s betrayal or Pavel’s discontent, are typically revisited to good effect later. Pacing is solid, though the action and violence in the final 20 pages is only offset with a few brief, uninvolved bits of dialogue. Dialogue throughout is appropriate to the genre, and establishes unique voices for several of the primary characters if not all of the supporting cast (Bishop in his suggestive purring, Neil in his give-nothing-away curtness, are distinct). The dialogue is peppered with plenty of language and structures familiar from noir, but little of the wit associated with better works in the genre. The tone is straight-dark. The closest thing to lightening is perhaps the dark humor generated by the over-the-top depiction of Bishop eating his meat (23-24), or the sometimes comically extreme violence (i.e. 64.3). The overly graphic violence prevalent in the second half, if depicted as described, falls beyond the scope of nearly all mainstream contemporary action, giving this more of a B-movie or graphic novel adaptation feel (a la “Sin City”). Given that this probably won’t receive much critical acclaim based on original or captivating characters or dialogue, this may have more legs if envisioned as a highly-stylized, graphic novel type onscreen interpretation....