Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall are working to make a new version of The Thin Man, the Dashiell Hammett novel about drunk detective socialite Nick Charles, his charming young wife Nora and the unusual family mystery in which they become embroiled.

The question is: who plays Nora? Deadline says there is a shortlist that will begin to meet with Warner Bros. next week. Names on the list include Eva Green, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Carey Mulligan, Rachel Weisz, Kristen Wiig, Emily Blunt and Isla Fisher. That is, just about every smart actress with free time in her schedule and an interest in starring opposite one of the few semi-legit movie stars in the business. And without knowing more about what Marshall, Depp and WB are specifically looking for, it seems pointless to try to play the guessing game based on a list that long.

The original The Thin Man, released in 1934, spawned a series of comic detective films and, later, even a TV show, and that precedent is fueling fire that the material might become a hit once again.

After the break, Albert Hughes’ film Motor City might finally have a lead, and Hal Holbrook joins Gus Van Sant’s new film Promised Land. Read More »

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Albert Hughes departed Warner Bros.’ Akira and headed to Motor City last year, but his new project seems to be having almost as much trouble as his old one once did getting a leading man to stick. Chris Evans was the first to get the offer for the Chad St. John-scripted picture back in August, before Dominic Cooper entered talks not two months later. A scheduling conflict later forced Cooper out, however, and the role was passed on earlier this month to Jake Gyllenhaal — who realized soon afterward that he didn’t have room in his calendar, either. Now the latest star to get the call is Jeremy Renner, who’s received an offer and has begun discussions. More after the jump.

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Briefly: The script for Motor City, written by Chad St. John, sounds pretty rote: a former Army Ranger is framed for a crime, and when released from prison he goes after the guy who did the framing, and who stole his girl to boot. But the script has almost no dialogue — a few lines, maybe — and that makes it sound like an interesting exercise, at least.

Dominic Cooper was going to play the lead role, with Gary Oldman as the bad guy and Amber Heard as the female lead. But Cooper ended up moving on, and now Jake Gyllenhaal will play the lead role, under the direction of Albert Hughes. (His first film without brother Allen.) A spring start is scheduled, with the film set to shoot in Berlin. [Deadline]

Update: Or maybe not. A second Deadline report says that Gyllenhaal has backed out, when schedules couldn’t be worked out.

Amber Heard Will Star in ‘Motor City’

Briefly: The next movie from Albert Hughes — and his first solo effort without brother Allen — is set to be Motor City, which sounds like a straight-up revenge story based on quick descriptions of the script by Chad St. John. Dominic Cooper stars as a guy just released from prison, who is out for revenge against the guys who framed him for a crime. I’m told the script is one of the most spare to go into production in a long time, with very little dialogue. Hopefully that will result in a film that is more distinguished than the basic logline makes it sound  — perhaps a companion piece to Drive and The American.

Now Amber Heard is set to play the lead female role, though we don’t know anything about the specifics of the part. Heard has been on the verge of breaking out for a while, starting with her starring role in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, moving through her clothes-free scenes in The Informers, and films like Zombieland, The Ward, Drive Angry and The Rum Diary. She was also a lead in the short-lived show The Playboy Club, which was canceled after only three episodes aired.

Two movies that have been batted around for some time have just made significant moves forward. First there’s Motor City, a film that was on the 2009 Black List, has only one line of dialogue in the entire thing, and is about a crook who is framed and dead set on revenge when he gets out. Albert Hughes will reportedly direct the film for Warner Bros. and he, along with producer Joel Silver, have offered Chris Evans as the lead.

Then there’s Lamb of God, Diablo Cody‘s directorial debut about a young religious girl who loses her faith and heads to Las Vegas. Russell Brand has reportedly been offered the co-starring male lead in the film. Read more about both these projects after the break. Read More »

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam wonder about the future of Akira and Uncharted, get psyched about David Fincher’s next film, and express their disgust for The Hangover: Part II. Special guest Katey Rich joins us from CinemaBlend.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us for our next live broadcast on Sunday, June 5th, at Slashfilm’s live page where we’ll be discussing X-Men: First Class.

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With innumerable mountains to climb on the way to remaking Akira, such as the dark storyline, escalating budget and lack of a star, the one constant the film had in recent months was a director. Now the remake of the classic Katsuhiro Otomo anime/manga is without a captain as director Albert Hughes (seen above right with his brother Allen) has reportedly left the film. This comes mere days after news broke that Keanu Reeves was the latest to pass on the lead role of Kaneda and that Warner Bros. had shut down a department working on pre-production. We ask again, what does this mean for Akira? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Neo won’t be Kaneda. JoBlo has exclusively learned that Keanu Reeves, who was offered the starring role in Warner Bros. Albert Hughes-directed, live action remake of Akira, has passed. They’ve also learned that Warners has shut down and fired much of a pre-visualization department that was working on the film. Does this mean Akira is dead? Not quite. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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