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Billy Ray Writing 'The Thin Man' for Johnny Depp and Warner Bros. (Exclusive)

Rob Marshall is attached to direct the adaptation of the classic Dashiell Hammett novel.

FILM: Johnny Depp
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Billy Ray, the writer-director of Shattered Glass and Breach, has been tapped to write The Thin Man, an adaptation of the classic Dashiell Hammett novel. Johnny Depp is attached to star and Rob Marshall is attached to direct the Warner Bros. project.

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William Powell and Myrna Loy starred in the 1934 adaptation of the book, which centered on former private detective-turned-professional drunkard Nick Charles, his lovely socialite wife Nora and their schnauzer Asta as they investigate a murder involving an eccentric inventor and his bizarre family. The film led to five more movies and a TV series.

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The project is a priority at the studio, but it has been putting writers through the spin cycle. Jerry Stahl was initially on board to write. Then David Koepp was brought on, but he left when his vision didn’t line up with Marshall’s, forcing a hunt for a new scribe.

Depp will produce Thin Man with his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski. Former Warner Bros. exec Kevin McCormick is producing via his studio-based Langley Park.

Ray has been on a studio hot streak of late. He is writing Peter Pan Begins for producer Joe Roth and Columbia, where he also has A Captain’s Duty, the story of boat captain Richard Phillips and his days-long ordeal with Somali pirates. (Tom Hanks is attached to the latter.)

Repped by CAA and Management 360, Ray is also working on the 24 movie at Fox, and he is writing an English-language remake of the Oscar-winning 2009 Argentinean thriller The Secret in Their Eyes for himself to direct at Warners.