Three Oscar winners, a nominee and an Oscar-winning director too – Sniff is shaping up to be something special.

If you’re a fan of noir cinema and starry ensembles, look no further, because Sniff is a project you’ll want to be keeping an eye on. Unveiled as a hot property at the Toronto Film Festival, the project stars Oscar winners Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Al Pacino. You’ll also be getting some of Academy Award nominee Danny DeVito for your money, as well as an Academy Award-winning director in the form of Taylor Hackford.

Hackford has previously directed films such as Ray and An Officer and a Gentleman.

The film itself  is set up as such:  ‘two residents die under suspicious circumstances in a high-end luxury retirement community. Retired detective Joe Mulwray (Freeman) is pulled back into the action by his former partner William Keys (DeVito), and they uncover a hidden underworld of sex, drugs and murder in the wealthy community controlled by kingpin Harvey Stride (Pacino), and his femme fatale enforcer, The Spider (Mirren). Sniff is an acronym for Senior Nursing Institute & Family Foundation.’

Hackford has been discussing the project, stating that he wants to do for the noir genre what Rian Johnson’s Knives Out did for the whodunnit. He said that “usually you don’t want to mention other films, and this has nothing to do with that film in terms of story. But I loved what Rian Johnson did in terms of taking an old genre, the whodunnit, and spicing it up with life and making it real in the contemporary situation. That’s what I have in mind for Sniff in the film noir … There will be laughs and smiles in the film, but as it goes, it gets darker and darker, and it pays off. If you are using film noir and it doesn’t pay off in a very climactic way, it becomes a euphemistic use of that turn, and this is not that.”

There’s a longer piece at Deadline, which is well worth checking out, including Hackford recounting the story of assembling such an impressive cast. We’ll be watching this one keenly…

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