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Michael Keaton to direct and star in hitman-with-dementia movie

Keaton is fresh off Dopesick (and, uh, Morbius), and is currently gearing up for The Flash.

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Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Deadline Hollywood

The Michael Keaton-aissance continues unabated this week, with the Dopesick actor—who’s also gearing up for a much-hyped appearance in The Flash, and coming off a much less hyped appearance in Morbius—set to star in and direct a noir thriller, Knox Goes Away.

The film, written by Gregory Poirier (Missing), will center on a contract killer who—wait, actually, hold up. We should be clear: Poirier (whose other scripts include a very wide array of stuff, including kids fare like See Spot Run and films like National Treasure: Book Of Secrets) is not, himself missing; he just created the Ashley Judd ABC show from 2012. Please call off your Gregory Poirier manhunts.


Anyway: The film will star Keaton as a contract killer who discovers he’s suffering from rapid-onset dementia, and must thus race to clean up a bunch of loose ends while he still has the faculty to take care of, i.e., murder, them. “To do so,” reads the plot synopsis on Deadline, “He must race against the police closing in on him as well as the ticking clock of his own rapidly deteriorating mind.” Which, depending on tone, sounds like it could be poignant and interesting, or possibly extremely goofy; only time will tell.  Keaton will direct, with production from Brookstreet and Sugar23.

Honestly, the weirdest thing about this news is that this is actually the second film Keaton has ever directed, the previous one being 2008's The Merry Gentleman—in which he also plays a contract killer with a complicated relationship with his own past! The takeaway here, presumably, being that Michael Keaton loves playing hitmen, and is very proactive about making sure Hollywood gives him opportunities to do so. (In actual fact, Keaton took over The Merry Gentleman after the original director’s appendix burst, and ended up getting sued by producers unhappy with his work; maybe Knox is his shot at a do-over on the whole concept.)