Johnny Depp Wants Rob Marshall to Remake ‘The Thin Man’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 11:48 pm,

the thin man Johnny Depp Wants Rob Marshall to Remake The Thin Man

The Thin Man is one of the greatest “whodunit” detective movies of all time, effortlessly combining comedy, mystery, and romance like that of an Alfred Hitchcock film (before such things were cool). It was so good, in fact, and so popular, that it spawned countless sequels, each one progressively worse but still all kinds of enjoyable; it also spawned  a TV series in the late 1950s.

So it is with great sadness that I bring you news that, according to Vulture, Johnny Depp wants Rob Marshall (Chicago, Pirates of the Caribbean 4) to direct a remake of The Thin Man. Ho-hum.

The story of The Thin Man, which is based on the novel of the same name by Dashell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon), follows Nick Charles, a former private detective, and his socialite wife Nora, both of whom get dragged back into the business of solving mysteries after a girl is murdered and Nick’s friend—‘the thin man’—goes missing.

Besides being part-time detectives, Nick and Nora (as portrayed by William Powell and Myrna Loy) were also massive alcoholics and one of the greatest, most endearing onscreen couples ever. Indeed, their chemistry and back-and-forth are legendary, to this day. Fans of the book—and its cinematic adaptation—Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, are no doubt keenly aware that the protagonists in that story were named after the protagonists in The Thin Man.

Check out some choice video clips from the originals below:

I’m usually very accepting of movies made from previously adapted books that are unfairly labeled as remakes. The Thing, for example, has much more in common with the original source material than Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World. But The Thin Man isn’t known primarily for the book written by Dashell Hammet; rather, it’s known for the classic movies directed by W.S. Van Dyke. I find it incredibly difficult to imagine that this modern movie will take its cues from anything but those classic movies, thus paling in comparison.

And when has remaking a classic ever worked? Psycho was an abysmal failure. The Manchurian Candidate, while not terrible, was terribly forgettable when stacked next to the original. I just cannot understand Hollywood’s incessant need to remake every last movie until nothing whatsoever is left. Is it really that cost-effective, or are you really just that unoriginal?

Apparently, Johnny Depp is looking to develop The Thin Man through Infinitum Nihil, a Warner Bros. production outfit run by his sister, Christi Dembrowski, with ex-WB executive Kevin McCormick also producing. Rob Marshall might end up directing, but he’s also being courted to helm the big-screen version of the Broadway hit musical Wicked, which would, at the very least, not be a remake.

Admittedly, it’s very possible that I’m just being too cynical here. If anybody can do William Powell’s Nick Charles justice, it’s Johnny Depp, right?

Fans of Depp can see him next alongside Angelina Jolie and Timothy Daulton (otherwise known as James Bond number four) in The Tourist, which hits theaters December 10th. Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is currently shooting and is set to be released next May.

Source: Vulture

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Agreed. If anyone could do it, Johnny Depp could, but WHY? I vote no.

  2. i’d rather here more news on The Rum Diary than anything else.

  3. I saw a Thin Man movie the other day and I thought, I wish they would make movies like that again. All set on one stage and the whodunnit concept without the gadgets, visual effects, and cgi. Just classic black and white acting, letting the charsima, script, and actors carry the picture.

    That’s why I love the classics like Thin Man and North by Northwest and Casablanca.

    As to the article…make another (not a remake) but make it in black&white, and have zero cgi, special effects, or stunts. Pure classic acting.

    • Joe, thats asking TOO much from remake-plagued Hollywood these days, its a damn shame where cgi effects takes priority over acting these days :(

    • There has been movies like that. One was called “the man who wasn’t there” by the awesome coen brothers. All black and white, shot in traditional style with authentic props and lighting. Btw Ben, I’m glad you didn’t throw in “true grit” in your not needed to be made classics. Cause I can’t wait for it!

      • i like Reiners Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid.

        • I’ll have to check that one out Anthony

          • That’s why I loved Good Night, Good Luck…need to check out The Man Who Wasn’t There

          • anyone with an appreciation of the old B&W movies will like it, its an older movie, one of my favorite Steve Martin films actually Carl Reiner did a brilliant job in coming up with the concept to film it i thought.

            • Sweet Anthony, gonna que it in my netflix for sure.

              Joe k

              The man who wasn’t there is a total throw back towards old school filming wich is what the Coen brothers are known for. Billy bob thorton, francis mcdormad, that lead dude from the sapranos who i can’t remember his name cause i had a couple i.p.a.’s, scarlet johannsen. Brilliant and underratted.

  4. I’m not very happy to hear this actually. The way TTM was filmed is vastly different from the way films are made today so I imagine a major overhaul to get modern audiences to go for it. It’d probably be different in all but the name…but then why even call it The Thin Man? Sorry, I think I’m getting cynical like Ben:P

  5. To remake The Thin Man would be so wrong in every way. Some things should be untouchable. It makes me wonder about Johnny Depp’s ego to even consider trying to remake the Thin Man and step into that iconic role. I like Johnny Depp alot especially in POTC but I wonder if someone asked him if he would like someone to remake POTC in 70 years would he like the idea of someone redoing what he’s really most famous for and the role that he did so brilliantly? I doubt it. Now, Depp’s desire to redo Dark Shadows is interesting, not The Thin Man. As far as I’m concerned The Thin Man is magic; lightening in a bottle. It could never be redone in a way that would be 1/100th as good as the original