Raymond Chandler’s iconic detective Philip Marlowe was the go-to manly man for gritty pulp fiction noir, sowing the seeds for the modern-day action hero. So it would make sense for screenwriters to try and update Marlowe for today’s generation without losing his cool essence in the first place.
Variety has reported that Liam Neeson has signed up to play Marlowe in a film from Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed). The project, simply titled Marlowe, is based on Benjamin Black‘s novel The Black-Eyed Blonde featuring the gumshoe. Previous actors who have portrayed Marlowe on film and television include Elliott Gould (Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye), Humphrey Bogart (Howard Hawks’s The Big Sleep (1946)), James Garner (Marlowe), Robert Mitchum (Farewell, My Lovely, Michael Winner’s The Big Sleep (1978)), Powers Boothe (Philip Marlowe, Private Eye), and James Caan (Bob Rafelson’s Poodle Springs).
I quite enjoyed Neeson’s slow-burn detective thriller three years back, A Walk Among the Tombstones, so if anything this could be something special… if done right.