We learned long ago that nothing in Hollywood is really sacred. Any classic is ripe for the remake pool, whether we're talking about a shot-for-shot remake of 'Psycho,' a cannibalization of 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' or a Latifah-themed re-do of Alec Guinness' black comedy classic, 'Last Holiday.' One of these days we're sure to get another 'Gone with the Wind,' and maybe even 'Citizen Kane,' as much as we shudder to think of the possibility.
But there's one possibly brewing now that will boil many fans right to the bone, because it's one of the most worthy Tinseltown classics. This film stands the test of time, offering laughs, murder mystery and intrigue in a wildly progressive package. Though released in 1934, its female characterizations rival much of what we see today, and it boasts two of the most charismatic and beloved romantic duos the screen has ever seen.
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.
The original 'The Thin Man' was a one-off book written by Dashiell Hammett that became a huge hit back in the thirties. It spawned five sequels, and even got a 2-year series on television. The film focuses on Nick and Nora Charles. Nick is a former detective now drinking his weight in martinis with his new wife, Nora, when a murder begrudgingly pulls him back into the detective fold. Excited by the mystery, Nora eggs him on as the two deliver some of the best banter to come out of Hollywood.
"I'm a hero. I was shot twice in the Tribune."
"I read where you were shot 5 times in the tabloids."
"It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids."
"Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."
"You give such charming parties, Mr. Charles."
"Thank you, Mrs. Charles."
Let us hope that this is nothing more than a rumor, or a truth that will be thrust into development hell and never again see the light of day. Sure, Depp knows his drunks -- he's Captain Jack after all -- but we've seen his ne'er-do-well imaginings. He's got too much pomp and not enough circumstance to do Charles justice like William Powell. What new twists could he bring to it, other than a highly theatrical version that amps up the ridiculousness? (Think 'Wonderland,' 'Parnassus,' 'Caribbean,' 'Sweeney Todd' and 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.')
The days might be too full for Rob Marshall to take on, which is a plus -- he's got 'Pirates 4' now, and possibly 'Wicked' on the way. And if he does have time, at least he's not Garry Marshall, who would be sure to turn our Nick and Nora into one loathesome batch of romcom cliches.
Nevertheless, let's just leave this one alone -- okay, Johnny? 'The Thin Man' stands the test of time, its magic bred out of critical appreciation and drunken glee rather than ever-going marketing machines. And dear readers, if you are uninitiated, check out the clips from the series below and rent the magic for yourself.