Thursday, October 21, 2010

Remaking The Thin Man

I'm going to let you in on one of my worst kept secrets, I don't generally have a problem with remakes. I'm not a huge fan either. I'd say I'm mostly ambivalent about remakes. Occasionally, they give an interesting and fresh new take on an old idea, more often though, they're a quick way to grab for a little cash. Don't get me wrong, I'd still rather see an original idea than a rehash of something I've seen before, but I understand the desire to play it safe and stick with a known quantity.

I bring this up because I read something earlier:

Johnny Depp May Remake 'The Thin Man' with Rob Marshall - The Moviefone Blog

The film is the four-time Oscar nominated 'The Thin Man,' and according to the rumor mill, Johnny Depp wants to remake it with 'Pirates of the Caribbean 4' and 'Chicago' helmer Rob Marshall.

According to Vulture, Depp is "aggressively courting" Marshall to direct him in a remake of the film with Warner Bros. As of now, there's no script, but they claim that Depp is in full pursuit of making this passion a reality.

Ok. Depp is certainly a fine and interesting actor, but is he the type that could play Nick Charles properly? And who would play Nora Charles?

As a big fan of both Dashiell Hammet's novel and the movie The Thin Man. It's gotten me to thinking. Who in today's Hollywood could play these roles. And that's setting aside the more interesting question of how you could even make this movie in today's politically correct environment. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that that could be a whole post unto itself!

William Powell was, really, an almost perfect choice for the role of Nick Charles.In fact, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role! This is where you fall into the remake trap though, these were iconic roles. Both Powell and Myrna Loy were perfectly cast and had great chemistry together (the two were a staple in the 30s and early forties staring in all 6 Thin Man films and 8 other films as well). There is no way to remake a movie like this without inevitable (and probably harsh) comparison to the original.

This is getting away from me here though. What actor in Hollywood today could exude the wit and charm required for Nick Charles? We need someone about the right age, late 30s to early 40s. I'll refrain from saying Keanu Reeves (though I would certainly want to see him try!). Hugh Laurie I think could do it, though he's just outside the age range I'm thinking of. You know who I think would be very good in the role though? Nathan Fillion. Captain Tight Pants himself. I think this would be right in his wheelhouse.

That gets us halfway there. It also gets us to the harder question. Who on Earth could play Nora Charles? In this case we need someone...around let's say 30. Drew Barrymore would have the right look, and she's only 35...not a bad choice, but not the right choice. Zoe Saldana would make for an interesting choice. Katie Holmes perhaps as well, but...still, no. Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway or Rachel McAdams maybe? No. Rachel Weisz would be a good choice, but if I'm eliminating Barrymore based on age, then Weisz is out too (sadly, since she's a large part of what made The Brothers Bloom so fun and charming, IMO). No, I'm going to go with Zooey Deschanel here I think. I'm just playing a hunch here, but I really think she could come closest to pulling the role off.

The question I now pose to you is, how far off do you think I am? And, more interestingly, who would YOU chose for the roles of Nick and Nora Charles?