Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Marlowe returns from a long, big sleep

After listening to a very dull list of Oscar nominees this morning, I needed some good Hollywood news. And I got it. Variety reports that actor Clive Owen (he of Croupier, Sin City, and the recent Children of Men) has convinced Universal Pictures and Strike Entertainment to option all of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe books — and the plan is to set the movies in the novels’ original time period and L.A. setting. This is very cool news, especially to us Chandler and film noir addicts.

I have a fair number of the good Marlowe adaptations on DVD, including Bogart in The Big Sleep, of course, and Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet. I loved Elliot Gould’s revisionist take on Marlowe in The Long Goodbye, but shuddered when Sleep was remade with Marlowe — Robert Mitchum reprising the role after a very fine Farewell, My Lovely — transplanted to 1970s London. The last Marlowe I can recall was Powers Boothe, who starred in about a dozen excellent TV adaptations of Chandler short stories for HBO in the ’80s.

Owen seems a great fit for Marlowe. Sure, he’s British, but I think his performance as “Dwight” in Sin City, complete with his Chandler-like narration, proved he can fill Philip Marlowe’s wingtips. And since word is that Owen himself is behind this idea to bring Marlowe back to theaters, the actor must have a familiarity with and love for the books. I’m sure we can expect good things.


At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I'm more of a James M Cain fan this is exciting news, more exciting than the Marlowe series ABC has planned.
Hopefully they'll stay true to the novels and be filmed in black and white not color. If they're done like Sin City that'd be OK, I guess.


Post a Comment

<< Home