underwhelmed the very first time I saw Sin City.
Being unfamiliar with the source material, I had no particular admiration for
the seemingly literal presentation of it that Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
provided. I’ve since come to enjoy it to some extent due to round-the-clock
showings on Starz, where the small-scale, stage-y feel of the film is a much
better fit. But even with the first time I saw it, one of the three
interlocking stories resonated with me a lot more than the other two: Clive
Owen as Dwight, the chivalrous ass-kicker extraordinaire. While Bruce Willis’ grizzled
cop seemed overly familiar and Mickey Rourke’s Marv was nigh-Hulk like in his
invulnerability to bullets and whatever else flew into him, Dwight seemed a
more natural and unique fit for that noir universe, and he was a wonderfully vulnerable
hero. A large part of him working was due to Owen’s natural charm and worn
demeanor, and when he’s paired with such characters – along with extensive
voiceover, as he was both here and in Croupier – the guy just becomes the
embodiment of cool.

So I’m
pleased as Hawaiian Punch to see the guy back in that lane. He’s been attached
to a film adaptation of the Phillip Marlowe character as written by Raymond
Chandler for a bit now, but it’s been announced that Frank Miller will be
taking the reins, which is about as natural a fit as you could hope for. Even
better, they’re kicking this potential franchise off with a fresh tale, as a number
of Marlowe novels have already been adapted. This time, they’re adapting the Trouble
is My Business
short story, which was one of the first tales in the
series, so early that the character still had his previous name of “John Dalmas”
(Don’t really roll off the tongue, do it?).

The only
question now is when will Miller do it? We already know that his adaptation of The
cut in line ahead of Sin City 2, which apparently is
prepped to go once Rodriguez is available. So will that come next or will the
Marlowe joint pop off? Whichever wins, we win.