News from the Toronto International Film Festival: Thanks to an exclusive story sniffed out by reporters, an all-star cast Danny DeVito, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and Al Pacino will be smelling like roses in ”Sniff.” To be directed by Oscar nominee Taylor Hackford, Sniff is described as a “stylish reinvention of the film noir genre” according to Deadline, which broke the story this week. Mirren had earlier appeared with Freeman in Robert Schwentke’s Red (2010) and with Pacino in Phil Spector (2013).
Tom Grey will script the film, in which two detectives (Freeman and DeVito) deal with the festering stench of drugs and homicide at SNIFF, a retirement community headed up by Pacino and his sidekick, Mirren. SNIFF stands for Senior Nursing Institute & Family Foundation. The flick will be wafting like popcorn into theaters next year thanks to Endeavor Content. CAA Media Finance will handle US rights.
Hackford was quoted in ComingSoon.net as crediting Rian Johnson with inspiring him to work in the film noir genre. “Usually you don’t want to mention other films and this has nothing to do with that film in terms of story,” Hackford said. “But I loved what Rian Johnson did in terms of taking an old genre, the whodunit, 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.” He added that there would still be “laughs and smiles” even as the film grows “darker and darker.” In a nod to his stellar cast, he said, “We’ve got great racehorses on a really interesting track and when that happens, there is potential if I do my job, to turn out a memorable film.”
Production should get underway by spring 2022, say industry insiders. Sniff is being produced by Adam Goodman and Matt Skiena’s Dichotomy Creative Group, along with Hackford through Anvil Films production shingle. Grey will also be executive producer. This will be Hackford’s first film since The Comedian (2016), another property in which Robert DeNiro starred.