Update: Harry Knowles has posted a scoop from “Kurt, North Hollywood”, who claims that someone from Village Roadshow Pictures contacted him about using a vintage Gran Torino in a new Clint Eastwood movie.

Here’s where you might want to strap on your hip waders.

According to ol’ Kurt, the guy from Village Roadshow went so far as to divulge the premise of the film. “He said it was a thriller about a killer that drives a certain torino. His 1972 Ford Gran Torino is the only thing the police have on him. A retired police lieutenant, one Harry Callahan, makes it his mission to track down the culprit when two young police officers, one Callahan’s grandson, are shot and killed by the guy.”

It’s too late in the day for me to track down anything solid to back this up, but sources will be worked over like Terry Malloy in the morning. For now, I’ll tell ya… it’s intriguing. But it’d also involve a shitload of backstory in order to explain how the widowed Harry Callahan sired a son and a grandson in between The Dead Pool and Gran Torino. I don’t know how I feel about humanizing the character to this extent; Eastwood’s certainly entitled to sentimental indulgence at his age, but I hope he’s got something interesting to add to the original film’s chaotic swipe at due process.  Dirty Harry remains one of the most challenging films of the 1970s; revisiting Callahan in the age of U.S.-sponsored torture (the ol’ Jack Bauer whatever-it-takes) could be incredibly worthwhile.

I see that IESB.net received (and, of course, printed) a similar email sans verification of the source.  This story is beginning to kick up a bit of a stench.  

Turns out Paul Haggis was full of shit:  Clint Eastwood isn’t retired from acting after all.

But what the hell is Gran Torino?  Is this an intentionally misleading working title?  Obviously, the first thing that springs to mind is Starsky and Hutch’s souped-up whip, but I doubt Clint would waste his time getting back in front of the camera as one-half of the iconic crime-fighting duo.  Or maybe dementia has set in.  If so, someone needs to trick him into making another Philo Beddoe movie (with a new Clyde, since the original was beaten to death by his owner – and that’s not a joke). 

For some reason, Warner Brothers is keeping mum on Gran Torino, which gets me to wondering if this isn’t a send-off for another iconic character.  That’s pure speculation, but it’s not like we have much to go on here; Variety isn’t even sure if the movie has begun principal photography (they’re also shit for screenwriting details).  WB currently has the film slated for a December release, so maybe it’s another of Clint’s prestige flicks.  Boring.  Bring back Dirty Harry, man.  You owe us one after The Dead Pool.

The December release is also curious because it’s so close to the November 7th opening of Changeling, Clint’s suspense flick starring Angelina Jolie (which has nothing to do with the Peter Medak movie).