may be prettier than Humphrey Bogart, but Clive Owen sometimes reminds me of the Casablanca star. I guess I just see a lot of Owen's characters as being the kind who would say that they stick their neck out for nobody. And then there's Owen's voice, which has been heard in voice-overs before and which would work perfectly in a film noir. Of course, Owen isn't distinguished enough to be cemented into the consciousness of cinema in the same way that Bogie has been. In one hundred years, Humphrey Bogart will still be the better remembered actor.

For the time being, though, Owen is probably the best person to take on the part of Philip Marlowe (maybe Billy Bob Thornton would be good, too), a character that most of us associate with Bogart, despite the fact that so many others have played the role, some more than once. Producer Marc Abraham told Louisville, Kentucky's Courier-Journal that he will be following up Children of Men with another collaboration with Owen that will be based on one of Raymond Chandler's detective stories. He didn't specify which story would be adapted, but he did say that Owen would be playing Marlowe.

As perfect as this casting is, it isn't completely easy for me to imagine what it will be like. Will it be neo-noir, or will it simply interpret the story as a separate kind of crime thriller? And if it does attempt the noir genre elements, will it feature voice-over? Although Owen's voice is perfect for narration, the noir-style voice-over may not work as well today. As we saw with the original cut of Blade Runner, noirration (yes, I'm making up the word) can sometimes sound a bit silly. It isn't necessary, of course. Bogie's Marlowe in The Big Sleep had no voice-over.

Anyway, who is the best person to direct a Chandler story these days?

CATEGORIES Casting, Cinematical