Nancy Drew |


(Melinda Sue Gordon)

She’s been MIA from the big screen for more than 60 years, but Nancy Drew is back — and those penny loafers won’t be staying clean for long. In her newest adventure, the world’s most famous teen sleuth (Emma Roberts) ditches her storied hometown of River Heights and temporarily moves with her father (The O.C.’s Tate Donovan) to Tinseltown, where, against his advice, she jumps into exploring an old-Hollywood cold-case murder that went down in their shadowy house. Director Andrew Fleming (The Craft) was bent on giving his adaptation a contemporary vibe — with a little action-star mojo thrown in for good measure — so you’ll get to see Nancy ”throw a bomb down an open sewer hole and dive out of the way,” as Roberts explains. ”It was very Mission: Impossible.”

Of course, the bedrock of the franchise remains the book series, which has sold millions of copies since 1930. So there will be plenty of nods to the classic stories — from the throwback car Nancy drives, to her nerdish tendencies, to her trademark preppy clothing. ”Everyone makes fun of her [for how she dresses],” says Fleming. ”But by the end they’re all wearing penny loafers.”

After seeing an early cut of the film, Warner Bros. greenlit a sequel to Nancy Drew in March, three months before the first movie will end up in theaters. Risky? Maybe. But Drew is the rare property that has the power to draw in both teens (who love the 16-year-old Roberts, a young woman who happens to call Julia ”Aunt” and Eric ”Dad”) and nostalgic women of all ages. ”When I say, ‘Oh, I’m working on Nancy Drew,’ women just grab me and shake me and say, ‘I love Nancy Drew!”’ says Fleming. ”Most girls fantasize about being her.” Even grown-up ones. (June 15)