Great news for Noir Movie lovers. Word has it that Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man is in production to star Johnny Depp and directed by Robb Marshall. Warner bros. put the project in to production in October and Depp is also lined up to produce.
The original movie was based on a Dashiell Hammett novel, which centered on former private detective-turned-professional drunkard Nick Charles, his lovely socialite wife Nora and their schnauzer Asta.
The original novel was published in 1934 and even though Hammett never wrote a sequel the book became the basis for a successful six-part film series which also began in 1934 with The Thin Man and starred William Powell and Myrna Loy. The 1950’s saw a TV show. The Thin Man was Hammett’s last novel.
The story is set in Prohibition-era New York City. The main characters are a former private detective, Nick Charles, and his clever young wife, Nora. Nick, son of a Greek immigrant, has given up his career since marrying Nora, a wealthy socialite, and he now spends most of his time cheerfully getting drunk in hotel rooms and speakeasies. Nick and Nora have no children, but they do own a schnauzer named Asta, changed to a wire haired fox terrier for the movies. Nick is a fast talking lovable lush as seen in this clip.
The studio intends to give the new film a contemporary attitude but retain the period setting. Author and screenwriter Jerry Stahl has been tapped to pen the script. Stahl is best known for his memoir of addiction Permanent Midnight. A film adaptation followed with Ben Stiller in the lead role. The Thin Man gig marks the second hot project he’s involved with, the first being Hemingway & Gellhorn. That HBO movie, which sees Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen toplining, just began shooting.
Also rumored to be translated to film sometime soon is Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. Connelly is said to be in talks with Yellow Bird, the same Swedish film company behind the Stieg Larsson crime novel trilogy.
Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch is the detective who made his first appearance in the 1992 novel The Black Echo, and the lead character in a police procedural series now numbering sixteen novels.
Bosch’s mother was a prostitute in Hollywood, who was murdered in 1961 when Bosch was 11 years old. His father, who he met later in life, was a powerful defense attorney. He spent his youth in various orphanages and youth halls, as well as with the occasional foster family. After learning of his mother’s murder, Bosch, then living at a youth hall, dove to the bottom of the pool and screamed until he ran out of air and then swam back to the surface. Bosch is also a Vietnam vet who served as a tunnel rat, a specialized soldier whose job it was to venture into the maze of tunnels used as barracks, hospitals, and on some occasions, morgues by the Vietcong. Having had similar experiences during my military service, Bosch runs head and head as my personal favorite neo-noir (Noir written since 1964) “detective character” along with Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder. Bosch is a maverick and a rebel who often is at logger heads with his bosses,which leads him to leave the LAPD and work as a private detective for a few years. The reader gets the feeling that Bosch is “this close” to becoming the typical hard drinking hardboiled detective, but Harry is ultimately too much in control and too much obsessed with catching the bad guys. The only thing stereotypical about him is his love life, he does appeal to the ladies. Harry was married once, Eleanor Wish was a disgraced former FBI agent, ex-con and subsequent professional poker player. But relationships with Harry are complicated. Bosch has aged well over the years and as much as us fans have yearned to see his stories translated to the screen, Connelly was forced to sue Paramount Pictures to recapture rights to his first two Harry Bosch crime novels , so after nearly 20 years us fans may just finally get to see Harry on the silver screen. The only two Michael Connelly books to make it to the movies – Blood Work starring Clint Eastwood, in 2002 and most recently The Lincoln Lawyer Out now and ruling the box office, have been pretty successful so it is about time we get to see his iconic character, let’s hope the rumors are true. There is certainly enough material for a string of films, so it will be interesting to see if they choose one out standing novel to translate (and there are many in the series) or if they make a sort of collage’ with room for a sequel. Either way, us Michael Connelly fans who have followed Harry Bosch for all these years have something to look forward to.
The Dirty Lowdown