'Motherless Brooklyn': Edward Norton says 'Fight Club' gave him 'confidence' his film can find audience

Edward Norton said the gradual rise in popularity of Fight Club gives him confidence that his latest outing as director, Motherless Brooklyn, will find its audience.

The 1950s-set noir thriller is adapted from a novel and follows Norton as a detective with Tourette’s Syndrome attempting to uncover the truth behind the death of his mentor, portrayed by Bruce Willis.

Motherless Brooklyn struggled at the box office on its Stateside debut, earning just $3.65m (£2.82m) despite a large rollout in 1,342 cinemas.

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Norton, however, points to the fact that Fight Club, in which he starred for David Fincher, was a box office flop on its initial release in 1999, but became a cult classic in later years.

“If you talk about Fight Club with people, there's a pervasive awareness of that film. It wasn't that instantly,” he told Yahoo Movies UK. “It took time and it became that.”

Edward Norton in 'Motherless Brooklyn'. (Credit: Glen Wilson/Warner Bros)
Edward Norton in 'Motherless Brooklyn'. (Credit: Glen Wilson/Warner Bros)

He added: “When you go through those experiences, it gives you a confidence that what you need to do is do the work and get it out there.

“You can never predict exactly what its movement and growth and path is going to be towards getting to the people.

“But the happy thing about the world we're living in is there's so many formats that people can ultimately get to it and that's a good thing.”

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Norton also referred to Danny Boyle’s classic Trainspotting, which became a word-of-mouth hit that “had time for people to come and get it” before it left cinemas.

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in 1999's 'Fight Club'. (Credit: Fox)
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in 1999's 'Fight Club'. (Credit: Fox)

He said he agreed with the arguments made by Martin Scorsese in his recent essay for the New York Times about the dominance and number of blockbusters in the modern cinema landscape.

“It creates a constant push where things are in theaters and moving through very quickly,” said Norton.

“The multiplex... it churns things through quicker. You have to ultimately make things with an eye on the long view of it.”

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Motherless Brooklyn also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe and Bobby Cannavale.

Alec Baldwin appears as dastardly city developer Moses Randolph, who is based on the controversial real life New York official Robert Moses.

The film arrives in UK cinemas on 6 December.