Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino, Helen Mirren and Danny DeVito have signed on to star in Sniff, a “retirement home noir” that will be directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray, The Devil’s Advocate).
The film will follow detective Joe Mulwray (Freeman) and partner William Keys (DeVito) as they investigate a luxury retirement community after the mysterious deaths of two of its residents. The case quickly turns strange as the duo uncover a hidden underworld of sex, drugs and murder controlled by a senior living community kingpin (Pacino) and his femme fatale enforcer ‘The Spider’ (Mirren).
Endeavor Content will attempt to sell the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, which begins tomorrow. Adam Goodman and Matt Skiena will produce via their Dichotomy Creative Group, alongside Hackford through his production company Anvil Films.
“I have always been a big fan of film noir but haven’t really made one,” Hackford told Deadline.
“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 [the film’s writer] did was show what was lurking below the surface.”
Hackford went on to add that he loved what Rian Johnson did with the whodunit genre in Knives Out, and hopes to give the noir genre a similar jumpstart.
Four big names leading an original mystery in a unique setting sounds like a great antidote to the myriad cinematic universes, remakes, and reboots that are engulfing Hollywood right now. Producer Goodman added that standalone movies made for adults are currently few and far between, and hopes to help right that wrong:
“Adult audiences are wildly underserved right now, and it feels like there is a great opportunity here. This film can play broadly but it can be a real event for that community. We really haven’t seen this type of cast since the Ocean’s Eleven movies.”
Sniff is expected to begin production early next year, with the hope that it will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2022. Other post-Knives Out original murder mysteries currently in development include The Maid starring Florence Pugh, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s comedy series The Afterparty, which will debut on Apple TV+.