James Gray, whose take on life is decidedly low key (with films such as 'We Own the Night,' 'The Yards' and 'Little Odessa'), is again looking at the seamy side of things with his next outing, 'Low Life,' which already has Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix on board. Jeremy Renner is circling the film to play a third lead, according to a report at Deadline.
The story centers on an immigrant woman from Poland (Cotillard) who has to turn tricks on her voyage to new York City in order to get medicine and food for her sickly sister. Once at Ellis Island she's branded a wanton woman, comes under the influence of a charming sleaze bag (Phoenix), and becomes a prostitute to make ends meet. Renner would play Phoenix's cousin, a magician whom the young woman falls for, offering her an opportunity to escape her nightmarish existence.
Shooting is to begin next year since Cotillard, Phoenix and Renner are busy with other projects ('The Dark Knight Rises,' Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled drama and 'The Bourne Legacy,' respectively). We wonder if that will give Gray time to work on another downer: His untitled Steve McQueen biopic.