File this one under rumor, but it’s a pretty solid rumor or I wouldn’t be running it. This is still early enough in the game that it could all fall apart, but it’s also late enough in the game that it could be officially announced in a week or two.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire might be starring in a remake of the classic Carol Reed film The Third Man, which is being written by Eastern Promises screenwriter Steven Knight. The package comes from Canal Plus and it’s going out for bidding, and the bidding is likely to be fierce. That’s a hell of a line-up, after all. And it’s before they have a director in place.

The big question is who plays what? Would DiCaprio take on the lead role of Holly Martins, the pulp author who comes to post-WWII Vienna for the funeral of his friend Harry Lime, or would he take on Harry Lime himself, a shadowy figure immortalized by Orson Welles? My money’s on Leo stepping into Welles’ shoes and with Maguire playing Holly.

The next big question is what’s the setting? Would it be set in modern day Baghdad? Or would Knight find another setting in which to set up Harry Lime’s racket (do it scifi!)? And then there’s another big question – do you keep Harry Lime’s famous ferris wheel monologue, one of the greatest in cinema history? You sort of have to… but you also don’t want to be the guys who redo something perfect.

Then again, with that line of thinking nobody would be remaking The Third Man. If you’re unfamiliar with the film I recommend picking up the Criterion Blu-Ray, which you can buy through CHUD by clicking here.