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Willem Dafoe has joined Edward Norton for “Motherless Brooklyn”

Willem Dafoe

Los Angeles, Feb 3 (UITV/IANS): Actor Willem Dafoe has joined actor Edward Norton in the thriller "Motherless Brooklyn", an adaptation of the similarly titled Jonathan Lethem novel.

Norton is attached to direct from his own script and produce through his Class 5 Films production company. Other current producers are William Migliore, Stuart Blumberg, MWM Studios' Gigi Pritzker, and Rachel Shane, reports variety.com.

The novel won the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Lethem's protagonist, Lionel Essrog, has Tourette syndrome and works as a private eye at a makeshift detective agency.

Norton will star as Essrog in the film, set in 1954. The story focuses on a young woman protesting against a powerful developer, who designs neighbourhoods as slums so his people can buy up property. Dafoe will play the developer's brother.

Dafoe recently received his third Academy Award nomination for his supporting role as motel operator Bobby Hicks in "The Florida Project".

He was previously nominated for Oliver Stone's "Platoon" in 1986 and "Shadow of the Vampire" in 2000.