A day without talk about a new Hollywood remake would be like a day without talk about a new Johnny Depp movie. “Fortunately,” today we have an update on a project that is both those things: A remake of The Thin Man, which will reunite Depp with his Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides helmer, Rob Marshall.
It turns out the new Thin Man will also reunite Depp with his Secret Window screenwriter and director David Koepp, who has been hired to script the flick (rather than Bad Boys II scriber Jerry Stahl, as was previously rumored).
Koepp has essentially been one of Hollywood’s go-to screenwriters for the last two decades – and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon. Over the past year alone, he’s been brought onboard to smooth out the scripts for the Jack Ryan reboot and Men in Black III, in addition to his new duties on Thin Man.
For those not familiar with the brand name, The Thin Man was originally the last novel written by famed pulp author, Dashiell Hammett. It was adapted into film form in 1934, spawned five additional sequels, and gave rise to a Thin Man TV series during the 1950s. The franchise revolves around one Nick Charles, a bumbling detective who spends most of his time either getting drunk or solving cases in Prohibition-era America.
Deadline says that Koepp will not be going to Hammett’s original novel for inspiration, per se; rather, he will attempt to combine plot elements of the first two Thin Man movies (The Thin Man and After the Thin Man), with the intent of giving it “a ‘Sherlock Holmes’-like stylized treatment.”
There’s many a detail listed above that most people would consider a warning flag about the potential quality of this new Thin Man movie – like how this is yet another remake that’s aiming to imitate Sherlock Holmes (see: the Invisible Man remake for a similar example), or yet another film that won’t require Depp to do much, other than resorting to what you could call his “Jack Sparrow shtick.” Plus, it’s difficult to feel confident about the involvement of Marshall, whose last three movies (Memoirs of a Geisha, Nine, and the fourth Pirates flick) have all arguably been shiny on the surface, but thematically lifeless affairs.
On the other hand: Nick Charles is the sort of eccentric scoundrel that Depp plays best, Koepp has scripted many a fun adventure in the past (see: Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, etc.), and the prospect of Marshall using his choreographer skills to recreate a few Ragtime numbers for The Thin Man (a la Chicago) sounds kind of promising. So maybe this’ll end up joining the ranks of good Hollywood remakes out there, when all is said and done.
With Depp’s Lone Ranger movie currently in limbo, it’s entirely possible that The Thin Man could end up becoming the project he works on next. As always, we’ll keep you posted.