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Return to darkness
Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly
in Requiem for a Dream

Darren Aronofsky cemented his auteur status a decade ago with Requiem for a Dream, a dark story of the drug underworld. Now he’s returning to that milieu in a different capacity.

The Black Swan director and that movie’s producer, Scott Franklin, are putting their weight behind Intricate, a story of a promising young athlete who finds himself caught up in the drug trade in 1990s New York.

Brad Furman, who directed the upcoming legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer, will direct Intricate. Furman said he is developing the independent project, with Franklin and Aronofsky — who incubate films at their New York-based company Protozoa Pictures — serving as producers.

Darren Aronofsky directing
Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Inspired by a true story, Intricate tells of a highly touted college basketball recruit who gets involved in the drug underworld after his hoops career doesn’t pan out. At the time, the New York narcotics trade is rife with violence and connections to the burgeoning rap industry.

“The movie is about where this man begins and where he ends, with New York City as an important character,” Furman said. Franklin was not immediately available for comment.

Although dark dramas remain difficult to finance, Protozoa has a way of getting movies to the screen: Franklin helped secure the money for Black Swan after the project fell apart numerous times.

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