You know there's got to be something special about a movie when it can manage to already gain traction and buzz less than a day after it hits theaters. This can definitely be said of the new crime drama The Drop: Starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and the late James Gandolfini in his last feature film role before his death, the film is yet another welcome contribution to the genre from famed crime novelist/screenwriter Dennis Lehane, and, like his many other works, it doesn't disappoint.
How The Drop came to be is a little different than how novels-to-big screen adaptations go: The Drop, Lehane revealed during the film's Toronto premiere this month, started as "the first chapter of a novel that never came together" back in late 2001. Towards the end of the decade, Lehane reworked the piece into a short story titled "Animal Rescue," which appeared in the 2009 anthology "Boston Noir." It wasn't until a few years later, however, that Animal Rescue grew into something more: Lehane was approached to adapt the short story into a full-length, fleshed out screenplay, and so "Animal Rescue" became The Drop as it is in theaters today. So, unlike other novel adaptations on the big screen, The Drop does have it's base material — but it's actually more of an original work in visual form from one of the most acclaimed crime authors of our time.
Lehane's other works are equally as compelling on screen. From 2003's Mystic River to 2010's Shutter Island to even the episodes of HBO's The Wire he's written, projects based on his writing are consistently gritty and smart, without any of that cheesiness that sometimes comes from crime dramas made by those who have perhaps seen The Godfather one too many times. They are, in order:
Mystic River (2003)
Mystic River, starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, and Laurence Fishburne, was directed by Clint Eastwood based off a 2001 novel of the same name by Lehane.
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Gone Baby Gone, starring Casey Affleck and directed by Ben Affleck, was based off of a 1998 novel of the same name from Lehane's Kenzie-Gennaro mystery series.
Shutter Island (2010)
And, of course, Shutter Island: Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Michelle Williams, it was directed by Martin Scorsese, and based off of a 2003 novel of the same name by Lehane.
The Drop is currently in theaters.
Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures