After the performance of “Rock of Ages” and “Dark Shadows”, to name but two of the studio’s recent flops, Warner Bros aren’t going to be a in a hurry to back the truck-up to any more risky ventures anytime soon. In fact, the Burbank bunch have already canned a couple of pictures that were due to go, chopped due to escalating budgets, like the rather so-so sounding “Arthur and Lancelot” (does anyone really care to see anyone King Arthur yarn?) and the long-in-the-works film adaptation of Manga fave “Akira” – that budget of which just kept climbing and climbing to the point Warner felt they had no choice but to temporarily freeze the film’s account until they could come to a still-in-the-works compromise. So, it’s not at all surprising that Warner’s may be pressing pause on another seemingly-expensive future effort.
Deadline says the remake of “The Thin Man”, which would’ve starred Johnny Depp in the role made famous by William Powell, has been put on the back-burner. The film’s director Rob Marshall (“Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides”) has instead turned his attention to doing “Into the Woods”; which is looking like his next movie.
Originally, the movie would’ve been before the cameras in November.
Now the blame is again on the film’s budget, with the latest version of the script indicating that the thing is going to be pretty costly, but there’s also the little matter of Marshall not having set a female lead for the film yet (Isla Fisher was mentioned at one stage; possibly she’s not a big enough star?), which no doubt helped the studio in their decision to press pause on the film. But I’d say it’s got as much to do with finance and famous faces as it does Depp’s “Dark Shadows” bombing. Warner were behind it too, and it may have scared them off from immediately greenlighting another movie starring an actor whose appeal may be starting to wane? (Disney must be quaking in their boots, what with the uber-expensive but not especially magnetic “Lone Ranger”, starring Depp, due out next year). Nothing against Depp, I love the guy and think he’s one of the most talented actors around, but clearly “Dark Shadows” and “The Tourist” bombing, plus the disappointing reviews on “On Stranger Tides”, have hurt his stock a little – otherwise Warners would be betting the house on anything he wanted to do.
As Depp said recently though, and he’s right, who can really pick what’s going to be a hit and what’s going to fizzle out? He, like many of us, never expected “Pirates of the Caribbean” to be as big as it was. For all Warner knows, they’re sitting on a gold-mine with this “Thin Man” remake?
“Nobody knows what a big film is until it goes out and people go to see it and it makes money and then they start calling it a big film”, Depp said in 2011. “Then they even start calling it a blockbuster, but nobody really knows what anything’s going to be until people shell out for it, ultimately.”