Thoughts on the Thin Man remake


I've been expecting a Thin Man remake for about ten years now. I've been expecting it with both joy and dread. Dread because most remakes insult lovers of the original. And joy because the Ocean's 11 remake remains one of the coolest movies I've ever seen.

Like any good fan faced with this inevitability, I've cast the leads in my mind. Once I hit upon my Nick, I knew I had nailed it. Nick must be Hugh Laurie.

His work on House has proved he can do American as well as any American. The man can wear a suit and still be believable as a friend of the lowlifes. Plus, he's effortlessly hilarious. Plus, he can play piano. Love Johnny Depp as I do (currently cast as Nick), he just can't do Nick as well as Hugh Laurie can do Nick. Of this I am certain.

Recasting Myrna Loy is more difficult. In part because I'm kinda in love with her, and partly because---

No, it's just because Myrna Loy is probably the best actress like ever and I totally am in love with her. She's unreplacable!

Who I keep arriving at is Cate Blanchett.

She could do it. The best evidence might be her turn in The Aviator, but I'm almost leery to link to it if you don't know her already as you could get the wrong impression.

But I've never been 100% sold on Cate which is why this blog post that's been percolating since c. 2005 has never been written until now.

This list, which is what introduced me to the Thin Man remake, has some actresses I like, but most of them are too young, imho. Especially if you're matching them with Hugh Laurie (or Johnny Depp, for that matter). The exception, and it's a striking one, is Kristin Wiig. She's a newly minted movie star, and her work in Bridesmaids makes me think she could do this. But if she goes into one of her two or three funny voices, I'm not sure I would like that.

I don't mean to come off as a stick in the mud, but I don't want this played to broad. In my opinion, the beauty of Nick and Nora is their understatement. Something Hugh Laurie is great at. And something Kristin Wiig can be great at. But it's not what Kristin Wiig fans would be coming to see.

So I'm still not sure about Myrna's replacement.

In the end, I don't mind the movies being remade. They're old, and the best way to get people to watch them in 2012 is with a successful remake. And solid married couples are too rare in the American cinema. Never do you doubt that Nick and Nora will be together forever and that allows them to rely on each other and create that certain magic that only confidently married people can pull off. So let's go on with the remake.

But if Johnny Depp drops out, oh passingby casting director, get on your phone and start selling the studio a helping of Hugh.



  1. My question is, Who are they gonna cast as the dog? That dog, as I recall, was an excellent actor as well. In fact, the dog is all I remember of The Thin Man, though I admit I've only seen it once and not recently.

  2. Haha.

    Just did a quick search of my blog to verify what I said, and I found this (skip down to the last paragraph):


    So that settles it: I say we need a good dog!

  3. .

    Who plays Astor will matter A LOT.

    Also: the first film's not the best. Watch the one with Jimmy Stewart.

  4. I have only read the book and definetively side with having Hugh Laurie over Depp.

  5. .

    How's the book? I own it but have not read it. (Similarly, I own both the book and movie of The Maltese Falcoln . . . but have only read the book.)

  6. Wasn't Johnny Depp just recently cast in.. what was it.. oh yeah, everything? When hasn't there been a movie recently without Depp as the lead? I did a search of movies starring Johnny Depp and it returned all of them.

    He's a good actor and all, but, I wonder that Hollywood was just something invented so we could watch Johnny Depp?

  7. .

    Remember when we were all complaining that no one would cast Johnny Depp in mainstream movies?

  8. I liked the novel very much-though I did wonder at how they ever solved crimes while being such alcoholic's.

    I need to read Maltese Falcon-cuz I love the movie.

    That and I also need to read Red Harvest because I loved several of those movie adaptions = Yojimbo and Fistful of Dollars.

  9. .

    Yeah, I need to read Red Harvest too---supposed to be his best book.

    And also: watching old movies: what a bunch of drunks Americans were!

  10. .

    How about Maggie Gyllenhall?