Guy Ritchie is a busy man. Not only is he about to direct The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and another Sherlock Holmes movie (as well as possibly working on Treasure Island), he’s also in talks to adapt Thomas Kelly’s Empire Rising.
Empire Rising is set in the Great Depression and follows Michael Briody, an Irishman working on the construction of the Empire State Building who just happens to also be a gun runner for the IRA. He’s in love with Grace Masterson, an artist following the building work, who also happens to be involved with Johnny Farrell, who works for the mayor in his politically corrupt schemes.
If Ritchie does go ahead with the project, he’ll be working on a major epic historical drama and it’ll be interesting to see what he does with the story. Have a look at some of his other films to see whether you think he’s the right man for the job.
Revolver is a complicated film about a con man, Jake Green (Jason Statham), out for revenge on the crooked casino boss, Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta) who was responsible for seeing him spend seven years in solitary confinement.
Jake was well known for his card playing skills and Macha strong armed Jake into taking part in a game after his usual card player was taken out. Jake wins the game, but an argument breaks out and in the confusion, the money is lost. When the police investigate the incident, Jake is questioned and when he refuses to give up Macha, he is sentenced to prison, where he learns a system that is guaranteed to win any game or con.
When he made the film, Ritchie was interested in Kabbalah and the film is riddle with Kabbalic references and concepts. The three recurring characters of Zach (Vincent Pastore), Jake and Avi (André Benjamin) are representative of the three pillars in Kabbalah tradition and the number 32 is a recurrent motif, which has mystical connotations.
The film wasn’t well liked by critics and those that did enjoy it conceded that it’s a film more for those who like to analyse and critique movies rather than more general viewing. It was so disliked in the UK that The Guardian ran an exposé on how the film’s PR agents placed a comment on the Sun Online website that enable it to be marketed as the Sun hailing Ritchie as being ‘back to his best’ – such praise being highly suspect!