Liam Neeson will play detective Phillip Marlowe in movie by Departed scribe

It was announced today that after being brought to life by the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Elliot Gould and Robert Mitchum that Liam Neeson will be the next actor to bring the character of Phillip Marlowe (created by Raymond Chandler in 1939) to the big screen.  Neeson will bring his tough guy persona to the noir-era detective in the movie titled MARLOWE from a script by THE DEPARTED scribe, William Monahan.

Based on the book The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black, MARLOWE will follow the detective (Neeson) during the 50s while he, and his business, are at its lowest point. That is, until one day, when a woman comes in asking Marlowe to help her find her ex-lover, only for Marlowe to discover that the lover’s disappearance is only the first step down the winding road of a bigger mystery. Scandal!

The character has been most famously played by Bogart in THE BIG SLEEP, and Gould played him in the 70s film, THE LONG GOOD-BYE. Monahan spoke to adapting the book saying and how staying true to the source material is really all that matters:

The book by Benjamin Black was a pleasure to adapt, and with Marlowe there’s no chance of even being asked to do it left-handed. You have to do Chandler justice, carry a very particular flame, or stay home.

As for the casting of Neeson:

It’s hard to tell who has the more of a lion’s heart and soul, Philip Marlowe or Liam Neeson. I hope I’ve done the both of them and a picture I could not anticipate more some service.

Neeson is known nowadays for playing old-school tough guys, but he’s at his best when he can mix that in with an emotionally complex character (THE GREY, WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES). Marlowe is the exact kind of character Neeson plays best, and I think he’ll do wonders in the role in a movie that sounds like a classic noir mystery. We don’t get those much anymore, what with young folk wanting nakedness and fire explosions.

Stay tuned for more info on MARLOWE when it drops. No wolves will be punched, though.

Source: Variety



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