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Clive Owen to walk in Bogart, Powell & Mitchum's shoes as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe!!!

Hey folks, Harry here - most of us geeks love classic film noir. Walking into a vintage bookstore and tearing through the scent of aged paper - finding first editions of books written by a genius like Raymond Chandler is heaven. Hell, as I look up from this screen is the original one sheet for Alfred Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN - and there in the Screen Play credits is... You guessed it Raymond Chandler. On the other side - most of us geeks are in love with an actor by the name of Clive Owen. The first time I discovered Clive, I was aboard a cruise ship off the coast on Venezuela on the Floating Film Festival watching CROUPIER and thinking, Bond, James Bond. Since then, we saw him in those BMW short film series called, THE HIRE - flicks like THE BOURNE IDENTIFY, CLOSER and SIN CITY. This year he's hit us with the INSIDE MAN and his amazing performance in one of the films of the year... CHILDREN OF MEN. I'm dying to see him next in SHOOT 'EM UP. However, Variety announced today something... far more exciting. Clive Owen has convinced Universal Pictures and Strike Entertainment to option the Raymond Chandler series of hard-nosed mystery novels featuring Philip Marlowe. Dick Powell played him first in my favorite film noir of all time, MURDER, MY SWEET (aka Farewell My Lovely) - then two years later Bogie played him in THE BIG SLEEP. Then the next year, Robert Montgomery played him in LADY IN THE LAKE. For 25 years the character slept, till Robert Altman cast Elliot Gould in THE LONG GOODBYE. Then in 75 and 78 - Robert Mitchum played Philip in FAREWELL MY LOVELY and THE BIG SLEEP. According to the Variety story - Universal and Clive seem intent on keeping the character in his original period and setting... with Clive chewing and spitting out the hardboiled narration. I CAN NOT FRIGGIN WAIT! Will they attempt to start at the beginning - or work on the novels that haven't been adapted - or use some of the short stories. We'll see - right now they're looking for directors and writers. This is definitely some damn cool news!

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  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST


    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    but i wish it was the other marlowe

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST

    christopher marlowe that is

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    whom I hold above Shakespeare in some respects.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:17 a.m. CST



    Any ideas as to who should direct?

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:36 a.m. CST


    by Jimmy Jazz

    I can totally see Owen doing this. Mike Hodges (Croupier) did great stuff with him before. How about him to direct? What story/book are they going to use? Farewell, My Lovely has been done perfectly, but I never really went for Bogie as Marlowe in the Big Sleep. I am not going to talk about ALtman's ass-raping of The Long Goodbye (I am loathe to speak ill of the recently departed, but I was never a fan of Altman's, to put it mildly). How about The Little Sister? The plot was muddled as hell, but there were some really good moments that would be very good cinema in that mess. I have always thought that Chandler was a better short story writer than novelist. Anyway, if this is treated with the respect it deserves, it could be something special.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:43 a.m. CST


    by Dick Nicely

    A movie series I can get excited about. This is the best news of all time!<p>For directorial duties, I nominate Stephen Frears. See The Grifters for what he can do with noir.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:45 a.m. CST

    In fact...

    by Dick Nicely

    Why not reunite Frears with Donald E. Westlake? He's still alive, right?

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:51 a.m. CST

    What about James Garner...?

    by oh_riginal

    He played Marlowe as well. And he defeated the almighty Bruce Lee by... ducking out of the way! Hmm.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Holy fucking shit (in a good way)

    by Doctor_Sin

    I am STOKED for this.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Raymond Chandler Gotta Eat...

    by Jobes War

    BRAINS! Get it, cause he's dead?

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:59 a.m. CST

    This gives me a smile I can feel in my hip pocket.

    by Dick Nicely


  • Jan. 23, 2007, 2:14 a.m. CST

    Sin City Dwight Narration = Spot On Philip Marlowe

    by Darth Fabulous

    This is much better news than if Clive had been cast as Bond. He's much more hard bitten badass than pretty boy.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 2:20 a.m. CST

    Also, Don't Forget About The Golden Age

    by Darth Fabulous

    Yeah, yeah...Shoot 'Em Up is going to be awesome. But Kapur directing Owen with Blanchett and Rush again...sounds badass if Kapur keeps the intrigue level high again.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Superb piece of casting

    by Primus

    If we can't have Owen as Bond, then Marlowe is a great alternative. So looking forward to this. I thought that a Marlowe tv series is on its way though...?

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Mike Hammer would be better

    by Cyberfury

    Philip fucking Marlowe!?

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 2:53 a.m. CST


    by BannedOnTheRun

    Wait'll I tell the missus. Maybe I should wake her up for this news. Hmm, 3:53 a.m. Maybe it can wait a couple hours.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Shouldn't the headline read...

    by BannedOnTheRun

    Clive Owen to walk in Bogart, Powell, Mitchum and GOULD's shoes? Ah, I see the problem.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 3:46 a.m. CST

    I love the Bourne Identify!

    by Archduke_Chocula

    Better than Bourne Superfacy

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Even if Clive gave up the fags

    by BannedOnTheRun

    he'd still be smokin'.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Bit off topic but new SPiderman 3 stuff!

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Sony has updated the spiderman 3 site with shit loads of new images. Really cool stuff I think. <p>

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Don't forget Powers Boothe

    by kuryakin

    In the TV show Marlowe. Actually maybe you should, it was pretty poor. Dunno about this either. I don't really rate Owen much as an actor, although he really surprised me in Children of Men. Will it be the same expressionless face/monotonous voice we've seen in so many of his movies (especially Sin City)? I suspect it will be

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Those Food Network ads need to be destroyed.

    by comedian_x

    I need a flash ad blocker.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Now this is news worth printing!!

    by Redbox

    Hollywood finally is going to the real Grade A source material. ANd I'm not going to cry about the classics being redone but they better do them in set in the past. Why don't I worry about remakes? Because you can't remake Dick Powell!! Dick Powell is the original badass, mack daddy detective modern hero!! No one will ever touch Dick Powell!! That's why the called him Dick!! Best film noir character after Harry Lime!!! Cheers!

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Mike Hammer

    by Redbox

    Mike Hammer isn't fit to hand Phillip Marlowe towels in a restroom. Big props to James Garner too, not for "Marlowe" (which is pretty bad except for a topless Rita Moreno) but for The Rockford Files, which could have been called Marlowe in the 70's.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 6:51 a.m. CST

    now this sounds cool

    by just pillow talk

    Solid actor, solid material...don't screw it up with a crappy director!

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Hurricane DePalma is brewing

    by Spandau Belly

    and ready to destroy another mystery adaptation!

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Gould was the best Marlowe

    by triplefive

    just watched The Long Goodbye last night actually. "That was someone I love. You I don't even like."

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Is there a reason why....

    by XXVIII

    No one has mentioned Clive Owen as Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight?

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 7:44 a.m. CST

    I hope it's in black and white

    by CTU Mole

    All real film noir is.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 9:30 a.m. CST


    by Avert Therapy

    I love Chandler, love his books, and I'm a fan of Owen... but I'm just not convinced. I just can't help but think Marlowe should be American, I can't see Owen pulling it off, no matter how good his accent is. It would be like an American Bond, just wrong. If this goes ahead then I wish them luck and I'll keep an eye out for it. I agree that Gould was the best Marlowe so far, but of course they chose a very different approach, with a contemporary interpretation.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Freaking Inspired

    by Purgatori

    He was awesome in Sin City. This is sweet. I hope it is in Black and White...but that might be too stylized.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 9:49 a.m. CST

    At first I misread Owen as in Owen Wilson

    by antonphd

    That was scary. Clive Owen, I couldn't be happier. Perfect match.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Script / story writer?

    by jimmy rabbitte

    I'd suggest the modern day Raymond Chandler... Robert B. Parker, to atleast take a spin through a draft for a script. Parker's Spenser novels are what Philip Marlowe stories would be, if they were being written today. As for director, I like the suggestion of Stephen Frears... or maybe even Alan Parker, or better yet, Peter Weir.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 9:58 a.m. CST

    antonphd - Jackie Chan is in it too

    by just pillow talk

    They are thinking about going further back in time and have it take place in the Wild West. Could be movie magic.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 9:58 a.m. CST

    great news

    by thefreeagents

    I love me some noir. This should be awesome.The Big Sleep is my favorite, but I need to re-watch Murder, My Sweet.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 10:16 a.m. CST

    I think Clive...

    by grendel69

    Would make a awesome Harvey Dent/Two Face.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Powers Booth was great as Marlowe in the HBO series.

    by Uncapie

    Tough, wisecracking and the stories were true to the books. I'm sure Clive Owen will be just as good.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Colin Clive Owen Wilson Pickett

    by KingKirby

    Clive Owen sounds like a good fit for a Marlowe about Ridley Scott as director? He's already done Film Noir of the future (Blade Runner), now hows about some Noir of the past?

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Good to hear

    by BizarroJerry

    In the past couple of years, I've been reading the Marlowe novels and really like them. I also started thinking that is was about time someone brought back Marlowe to the movies, and we can finally have a full-blown, unedited movie versions of these novels. I do fear some Hollywood producer rewrites, but they can't be as bad as Bogart's The Big Sleep actually cramming a musical number in there! There's even an occasional swear and I recall some nudity. I have noted, though, the the plots are all almost too complicated, but the novels are more about character and style. The idea that Owen wanted them made as a fan gives me a good feeling that they'll stay close to the source material. Owen's also pretty close to the right age, and he's got that good-looking but tough thing down. I wouldn't doubt his "Sin City" experience got him thinking he'd like to play one of the characters who inspired the film's tone.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Isn't there a Marlowe series coming?

    by BizarroJerry

    Didn't I hear that a network was making a Philip Marlowe TV series, which was unfortunately to be set in modern times? Could that screw up the deal with questions about who has rights to the books and/or characters?

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Best choice would be The Long Goodbye

    by Lazarus Long

    The Big Sleep is too big of a classic and I imagine they will get all kinds of shit for attempting to top Hawks and Bogie. The good thing about trying The Long Goodbye is that everyone knows Altman's version wasn't a straight, faithful one, and a real period adaptation hasn't been done yet on the big screen. Great opportunity, and it happens to be my favorite novel of Chandler's as well. Farewell, My Lovely would be nice too, but it has been done twice before.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    He must've really enjoyed...

    by Childe Roland

    ...his turn in Sin City. Seems like a good fit for the actor. I'll be curious to see how it shakes out.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Ricky Gervais IS Professor Slughorn!

    by all

    Clive Owen is not professor slughorn, but IS marlowe, sort of...

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Gotta work on that American accent

    by TheRevengeOfBayouWilly

    It was a little spotty in Sin City.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    Return of Dick Nicely

    by MrJJonz

    to the cinema.<P>Congrats of getting the film you long for<P>PS feel free to bitch like a mad dog when little snippets are released about the film later on such as casting the Waylan Brothers etc etc

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 1:01 p.m. CST

    the director?

    by filmfanatic1

    Now the producer needs to hire a great director for Owen; remember, Michael Winner ruined "The Big Sleep" in the seventies, making a really dull film; we have a ton of great directors to choose from right now; I just hope Universal is smart enough to choose wisely... big hope...

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST

    This is fantastic...

    by DrMambo

    After hearing that Chandler inspired a ton of awesome movies (parts of From Dusk till Dawn, Sin City, Brick, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang...) I started reading the Marlowe novels. I was literally reading Farewell My Lovely not two hours ago, and I've been picturing Clive Owen as Marlowe. This kind of just made my day.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Clive Owen IS dull...

    by jimmy_009

    ...and he has a constant shmuck look on his face. Clooney would have been the better pick IMO.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 3:47 p.m. CST

    I've always been partial to Sam Spade, but...

    by robotdevil

    This is the most exciting news I've seen on this site in months. I personally can't wait.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 9:16 p.m. CST

    He had an American accent in Sin City?

    by CTU Mole

    Did he have Keanu Reeves' accent coach?<p> We also would have accepted "Kevin Costner's" or "Harrison Ford's" accent coach. </p>

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 10:31 p.m. CST


    by BDT

    He is one of the few actors today who could do Marlowe.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 10:55 p.m. CST

    I don't know. Owen doesn't have much of a sense of

    by superninja

    humor, or doesn't come across that way. It needs more of a smart ass for the part. Vince Vaughn taking it very seriously actually might be kind of interesting. The Big Sleep is one of my favorite books.

  • Jan. 23, 2007, 11:06 p.m. CST

    The more I think about it Clive is just wrong for

    by superninja

    this. Marlowe is all about how he reacts to everything around him; the supporting characters and the plots are nothing to get too excited about. It's Marlowe who has to carry it. Bogart was just too dry for the part. Owen's kind of dry, or I bet he will be weirdly animated to compensate. It has to be someone naturally funny and likeable with a very big personality.

  • Jan. 24, 2007, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Does'nt fit his Amercian Accent is he's

    by KillaKane

    incredibley dull, sounds like he's selling insurance most of the time. I can appreciate the whole Chandler thing is about terse and laconic gumshoes who don't emote too much, but tonally I just don't see Owen as a decent fit, not with the august legacy of the likes of Bogart and Mitchum.

  • Jan. 24, 2007, 7:53 a.m. CST

    “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of”

    by Evil Chicken

    Yep. That’s cool.

  • Jan. 24, 2007, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Clive Owen and old school Film Noir

    by CrichtonAstronut

    Count Me In. That's the best movie news I've heard this week.

  • Jan. 24, 2007, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Back in the day, Harry Ford

    by BizarroJerry

    Harrison Ford back in his Indy days woulda made a perfect Marlowe. I'm just sayin'...

  • Jan. 24, 2007, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Guns At Cyrano's!?

    by georges garvaren

    My personal fav of Chandlers. It has boxing, babes and (as Harry would put it) badasses. Namely one badass; the one Owen would play and gee-golly-goodness he would play it very nice like. I think that Owen, is in fact, Chandler reincarnated; the two have such an obvious thematic connection it's just stupid that this did not happen sooner. I guess Owen had to get that pesky credibility and bankable asset thing over with before he could start to "convince" others to fork out some cash. Goddamn systems of logic! Pee and Poo in your mouth, I do.