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Johnny Depp's 'The Thin Man' Gets A Phat Writer

Johnny Depp
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Making a Johnny Depp movie is kind of a big deal. After all, the guy is an international heartthrob, has earned three Oscar nominations and is equally beloved by indie hipsters, swooning grandmas and highbrow critics. So when you're making a Johnny Depp film, you can't really screw around; either you get it right or you get a new job.

Case in point: According to The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Billy Ray has just been hired to pen the script for "The Thin Man" -- replacing David Koepp, who himself was just hired less than six weeks ago to do the same thing. Sounds like he must have been out of his Deppth.

Not that Depp himself is to blame for dropping the axe on poor Koepp, who is best known for writing blockbusters like "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Angels & Demons." No, that apparently falls on director Rob Marshall ("Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"), who reportedly didn't share Koepp's vision for the film.

So now the gig falls to Ray, who made his name writing taught psychological thrillers ("State of Play," "Flightplan"). And he has his work cut out for him; after all, "The Thin Man"  -- which is based on the classic novel by Dashiell Hammett about married crime solving duo Nick and Nora Charles -- is beloved by film buffs, having spawned six wildly popular movies back in the 30's and 40's.

Will Ray be able to pull it off? One thing's for sure: If Marshall doesn't like what he's seeing, we'll all know it about it sooner rather than later. That's just the way it goes when you're trying to make a movie with the biggest star in the world.

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