Literary and cinematic private eyes don’t get much more iconic than Philip Marlowe. Created by author Raymond Chandler, the character is probably best known on the big screen through Humphrey Bogart‘s incarnation in “The Big Sleep,” though a laundry list of actors including Elliott Gould and Robert Mitchum have played the role. Now, the private detective might be headed back to cinemas via an actor possessing a very special set of skills.
Liam Neeson has attached himself to the title in role “Marlowe.” The spec script comes from “The Departed” screenwriter William Monahan, who adapted a 2014 novel by Benjamin Black, who wrote a new adventure for Chandler’s character, that was pretty well-received critically. Here’s the book synopsis:
“It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving.” So begins a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe — yes, that Philip Marlowe. Channeling Raymond Chandler, Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City, California. It is the early 1950s, Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client is shown in: blond, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover. Almost immediately, Marlowe discovers that the man’s disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events, and soon he is tangling with one of Bay City’s richest — and most ruthless — families.
The project is going to made available to highest bidder soon, and while there’s no word on who will direct, I’d imagine Monahan will want to get behind the camera (though his two directorial efforts to date, “London Boulevard” and “Mojave,” might make that a hard sell for some). Intriguing, certainly, and there’s no doubt that Neeson could pull of being a tough P.I.
Thoughts? Let us know below. [Variety]