Johnny Depp wants to play Nick Charles in a remake of 'The Thin Man.' Sounds brilliant. But who should play Nora?

Johnny-Depp-MarshallImage 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.┬áStill, 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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Comments (138 total) Add your comment
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  • TorontoTom

    I could see Cate Blanchett making an interesting match for Depp.

    • Iliana

      Robert Downey Jr and Kate Winslet.

      • Chichi

        kate Winslet?

        What about Whitney Houston? She’s used to sniffing around things that are thin and white.

      • ndm

        Umm, Not Robert, he’s to A.D.D. Johnny is the perfect choice.

      • aleksa

        Kate Winslet was the first name to pop into my head.

      • Alia

        No way is Johnny Depp NOT A.D.D., ndm. Seriously.

      • UGH

        Please no GGI Asta!

      • Templar

        Definitely agree that Robert Downey Jr. is a better choice for Nick Charles. Depp just doesn’t seem that urbane. As for Nora, Winslet would do, but I’d sooner see an American in that role. Possibly, Zoe Deschanel or even Emily Deschanel. There’s a bit of Myrna Loy in Emily.

  • Znachki

    The original cannot be improved upon. That said, I think Robert Downey, Jr. would make a much better Nick. I can’t think of a woman out there who could be the great comedic “straight man” needed for Nora.

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    • Chala

      Very good suggestion.

    • Teresa

      Agreed with Robert Downey Jr. playing Nick Charles. Marisa Tomei would be the best as Nora to my family and I.

      • Templar

        While I love Marisa, she’s too ethnic to play Nora, who is written as a moneyed WASP of high society.

    • John

      I know no one will agree with this, but when you described “great comedic straight man” my first thought was…Hilary Swank.

    • Hal Computer

      Robert Downey? So he can ruin Nick Charles like he did Sherlock Holmes? How many iconic characters can we dumb down and insult today….

    • Heather

      How bout Maggie Gyllenhaal?

  • TorontoTom

    P.S. Rob Marshall – YES, go with a movie version of Wicked! And sign on Idena Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth to reprise their Broadway roles (whether they hate each other or not!).

    • tracy bluth

      AND NLB!!!!!!! No one can beat those three!

    • Mr. Holloway

      I wouldn’t hold my breath, unfortunately. Those two apparently couldn’t even get their act together to share the screen in “Glee.”

      (I realize their characters storyline may not necessarily have smoothly allowed them to interact, but do you REALLY think Ryan Murphy wouldn’t have found a way to get them together for a musical number if they were on good terms?)

      • Mr. Holloway


    • McFudge

      They’re too old.

  • Ella

    I say leave well enough alone….and no remakes!!

    • jules

      William Powell and Myrna Loy ARE Nick and Nora Charles. Their chemistry can’t be matched. Sorry Johnny, but you are no William Powell.

      • Sue1

        Agree, and agree.
        Enough with the remakes. The Thin Man series is a wonderful moment of time that deserves to stay intact.

    • Unnamed Writer

      The original movie was based on a book. It’s not a remake.

  • Chala

    Who should play Nora opposite Johnny Depp? ME! PLEASE!!

    • ariettty


  • tracy bluth

    What…WHAT….look, I love Depp, but…what’s are they going to remake next, Casablanca?

    • Mark

      It does seem like he is on a re-make bender. Maybe something original would be a good idea.

    • Jules

      The minute anyone decides to remake Casablanca – starring Depp or anyone else – I will stop watching movies.

    • maggie

      Strange but true, they made a tv series out of Casablance in the 1980s. David Soul (from Starsky & Hutch) played Rick.

  • Joe

    Puh-lease, they tried replicating Steed and Mrs Peel and see how that turned out.

    • Brett

      Good point, Joe. Uma LOOKED great, but otherwise, that movie was NOTHING like “The Avengers.” Ditto for Johnny Depp trying to take on William Powell’s performance. I disagree with Rothenberg; Depp is NOT the ideal choice.

      • Mea

        Good grief! Matt Bomer or Tim DeKay would make a better Nick Charles than Johnny Depp. And they’s stink. You can call Depp a lot of good things, but sophisticated is not one of them. Whoever plays Nick has to blend witty repartee with a bit of street cred and a slightly tipsy bent. That’s a tall order and outside of Depp’s wheelhouse.

      • wow

        Uma looked like a coatrack with hip dysplasia after Diana Rigg…

  • Corey

    I think Christina Hendricks or Carla Gugino would be an inspired choice. They are both skilled actors, quick witted and very easy on the eyes.

    • ObiHave

      Good choices!!! Would love to see either of those.

  • Brett

    I guess they’ll rename it “The Short Thin Man.”

    • ObiHave

      Did I miss the part where Tom Cruise was up for the role?

      • Chappel

        Nick Charles wasn’t the thin man. The thin man was a nickname given to another character in the movie.

    • Hal Computer

      I was just about to point that out, but Chappel beat me to it.

    • Mea

      Not to be nit-picky, but Nick Charles is not “The Thin Man”. The Thin Man is someone that Nick and Nora are looking for.

  • Snsetblaze

    Suggestions: Gabrielle Answar, Naomi Watts, Tilda Swinton, Kiera Knightly (might be too young), Rachel Weisz, Maria Bello and Maura Tierney (yes, I know, mostly a TV actress),

    • lovemyrna

      Loy was younger than Powell, Keira at least has some of Loy’s spirit & chic…

  • Erin

    I think Kristen Bell would be a good foil for Depp.

    • Roland

      Ooooh, good choice! 3 seasons of “Veronica Mars” proved she is the mistress of snappy banter and twisty mystery plots.

    • lilian

      Actually, I think this is a fantastic suggestion! Kristen Bell does wonders with material worthy of her talent.

    • Hannah

      She’s a bit young for Depp, surely?

    • Unnamed Writer

      This is a fantastic suggestion. No, she isn’t too young. Nora was younger than Nick. Read the book.

    • wooster182

      Kristen Bell was my first choice. She’s the only woman I can think of that comes close to having the comedic timing Myrna did.

  • Marnie

    I loved these films so im not that excited to see them remade. I hope they find someone as amazing as Myrna Loy to to fill the role.

  • DT

    Here’s my idea for a movie. Why not remake TOUCH OF EVIL with Wilmer Valderama in the Charlton Heston role, Lindsay Lohan in the Janet Leigh role, and comedian Artie Lang can fill Orson Welles’s shoes in his first dramatic role? We can get either Uwe Boll or Michael Bay to direct. That sounds about as good as this idea.

    • Roland

      Did you ever see “The Producers”, DT? With your casting choices, your remake will beat out “Avatar” as the #1 film of all time!!

      • DT

        Holy crap! I’m an accidental genius!

    • squirrellygirl

      And instead of that famous long shot in the beginning, they could just totally CGI the whole thing…… :)

  • Mr. Holloway

    Maybe Kate Winslet. She can definitely stand up to Depp as an actor and seeing her do some lighter fare would probably look good on her.

    • elr

      Yes! I like this match. She can play the elegant society lady too.

    • John

      Well, they did have good chemistry together in Finding Neverland…

      • Mr. Holloway

        To be honest, I COMPLETELY forgot they were in that together, which is weird because I really liked that movie!

    • Alia

      Oooooh, this works!

  • carrie

    Let’s put aside the fact that it could never be remade and compare at all to the original because it couldn’t. However, if it was going to be attempted, I have a hard tome seeing depp in the role. I love him but Nick is more well, manly, for lack if a better term. Robert downey Jr. might be able to pull it off. Though they do both have a sense of the absurd that Powell captured. Hugh Jackson might be able to do it. As for Nora, hmmm. Yes, maybe care blanchet, maybe Audrey tatou if she could speak without an accent. Noisy too voluptuous I’d outright sexy. Needs to be someone who can capture that innocent/wise combo while also being super quick and fun and witty. Speaking if that, screenwriting would have to be dead on.

    • Liz

      I agree completely; the original cannot be matched, and the writing would have to have the same intelligent wit to even come close. I know she’s a bit young compared to Depp, but I think Emma Stone could portray Nora successfully without coming off as a second-rate Myrna Loy.

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