Josh Rottenberg
October 20, 2010 AT 10:41 PM EDT

Image Credit: PR Photos; Sylvain Gaboury/PR PhotosIt must be fun being the most powerful actor in Hollywood: At this point, Johnny Depp just gets a glimmer of an idea in his head and — poof! — it’s suddenly one of the hottest projects in town. Depp’s latest brainstorm is playing boozy, bantering detective Nick Charles, one half of the legendarily quick-witted and perpetually soused crime-solving couple Nick and Nora Charles, in a new adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s classic novel The Thin Man. Depp’s rep confirmed with EW that the actor is developing a Thin Man project through his production company, Infinitum Nihil, and Warner Bros. already has a short list of potential screenwriters. Some film buffs might consider this yet another unnecessary remake — if not a downright sacrilegious one — arguing that the original Nick and Nora, William Powell and Myrna Loy, who starred in six Thin Man films in the 1930s and ’40s, can’t possibly be improved upon. Maybe, maybe not. But if anyone is going to make a go of it, Depp certainly seems like a worthy candidate. Does any major star working today do boozy banter better?

It’s unclear at this point how soon this project might come together. Depp is keen to have Rob Marshall, with whom he’s currently working on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, direct the movie, which is being conceived as a stylized period piece with a musical number or two. But Depp is already slated to star in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, and, according to Vulture (which originally broke this story), Marshall is flirting with directing a big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked, so we may need to knock back a few martinis while we wait for this one. Still, it’s never too soon to start armchair-quarterbacking and fantasy-casting. What do you think of the idea? And who would you like to see play Nora to Depp’s Nick?

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