March 30, 2012

Yet another another Johnny Depp vehicle is making its long slog towards the land of production. A remake of the 1934 crime caper The Thin Man was announced in 2010 is nowhere near its shooting date (It has yet to appear on Depp’s IMDb page, and the actor is still in New Mexico donning face paint as Tonto in The Lone Ranger), but it’s getting there. Take yesterday’s news that producers are on the official hunt for the role of Nora Charles, the sophisticated wife and detective partner of Depp’s Nick Charles. And the candidates’ names read like a laundry list of In Style cover girls: Eva GreenEmma StoneIsla FisherRachel WeiszKristen WiigCarey MulliganAmy Adams and Emily Blunt are all in the running. The two biggest takeaways here are that Mulligan and Stone are automatic frontrunners for every major female role in Hollywood, and that Kristen Wiig is the first female SNL castmember to find herself on the A-List.

But finding the right actress to play Nora—who must have a combination of urbanity and giddiness to pull off one of the most definitive screwball heroines in screen history—isn’t the only hurdle facing this incarnation of the iconic film. The 1934 blockbuster (yes, such things existed back then) was a cultural milestone for its wit, style, sexual frankness, and unabashed portrayal of adult alcoholism (which, according to The Thin Man, works extremely well within a marriage). As such, it went on to spawn five remakes and made a household name out of the bestselling detective novel that served as its basis. Today The Thin Man, recast with modern actors and retold through the lens of a modern sensibility, can at best be tricky (cocktails during pregnancy being just one of the things that doesn’t translate for a modern audience).

But back to the race to play Nora. Our money is on Weisz for the win.

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