10 Movies Sleuths That Need a Sherlock Holmes Reboot
Movie Detectives Make Their Case
By Kent Ninomiya
December 23, 2009
Guy Richie's version of Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson, premiers on Christmas Day.
In this version, Sherlock Holmes will be much more like James Bond than a cerebral sleuth. This rebooted Sherlock Holmes romances
the ladies, leaps out of buildings, and mixes it up with bad guys like an MMA fighter. The formula is a creative way to make a
classic character more exciting for a modern audience. It made us wonder what other movie sleuths deserve a reboot, and who we would
cast in the roles. Here are our suggestions…
10. Bulldog Drummond
Original Classic: Bulldog Drummond was the classic Scotland Yard detective with the exterior of an English gentleman but a tough guy badass inner cor. Drummond preferred to take the high road, but would break the rules to get a bad guy off the streets. This made him a favorite in books and movies dating back to the 1920s and cast the mold for movie detectives for decades to come.
Why It Needs a Reboot: A lot of old Bulldog Drummond books and movies are shunned because they are laden with racism and stereotypes typical of the early 20th century. However, the same issue has not prevented Hollywood from making movies out of Mark Twain stories. Bulldog Drummond was the original rouge cop and deserves to be recognized with a reboot.
Casting Suggestion: Robert Pattinson from New Moon. He’s British and looks a little bit crazy.
9. Hercule Poirot
Original Classic: Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective solved crimes with his own unique flair. Hercule Poirot is a gentleman of small stature with a silly mustache. This made him stand out among all the tough guy macho sleuths. He is the little guy you root for.
Why It Needs a Reboot: It can be argued that Hercule Poirot was the inspiration for Monk. Both are neat freaks who solve crimes with their obsessive compulsive tendencies. In the hands of a flamboyant actor, the character could come alive like no detective we have seen in the movies recently.
Casting Suggestion: Johnny Depp. What he did for pirates he could also do for Hercule Poirot.
8. Miss. Jane Marple
Original Classic: Agatha Christie’s other great detective character was an elderly spinster who solved crimes. Miss. Marple showed the world that you didn’t have to be young, tough or male to bring bad guys to justice. She was way ahead of her time and inspired imitators like Murder She Wrote.
Why It Needs a Reboot: Miss Marple needs a makeover. If she was younger and hotter, she could attract a lot of interest. There is a huge void in female detectives in the movies. Just try to name one.
Casting Suggestion: Scarlett Johansson. Wouldn’t you love her to fill the void?
7. Dirty Harry
Original Classic: No one blows a bad guy’s head off like Dirty Harry. He isn’t burdened with political correctness or sensitivity. He just blasts away with his .44 Magnum anddoesn’t bother to ask questions since the punks are dead. Everyone wishes they could do that sometimes.
Why It Needs a Reboot: There will always be a market for movies that allow you to vicariously blow away people who deserve it. No actor could ever reproduce Clint Eastwood’s killer scowl, but the right tough guy could reinvent it. It would be worth rebooting Dirty Harry just to hear the “do you feel lucky punk?” speech again.
Casting Suggestion: Christian Bale. He’s pretty much like Dirty Harry already. He just threatens movie crews instead of bank robbers.
6. Dick Tracy
Original Classic: Your grandparents were weaned on “Dick Tracy” comic books and radio shows. He isn’t a very complicated character. He is the good guy and there is a dizzying array of colorful bad guys he rounds up. This made the Dick Tracy stories simple, easy to understand, and popular with generations of fans.
Why It Needs a Reboot: Dick Tracy needs some personality. Make him charming and funny as well as tough could be a winning combination. The 1990 film starring Warren Beatty was awful. Beatty had even less personality than the comic strip, and the plot made no sense. After 20 years, it’s worth another try.
Casting Suggestion: George Clooney. He can play charming, funny and tough.
5. The Hardy Boys
Original Classic: Frank and Joe Hardy existed long before the 1970s TV series starring Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy. Their stories were told on the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s and in books back in the 1920s. They were originally racist and crude. They were rebooted as squeaky clean teens when they were marketed to the youth audience.
Why It Needs a Reboot: The Hardy Boys need to grow up. Get them interested in girls and piss them off a bit, and it could get interesting. They should still be young to stay true to their characters, but make them flawed and full of angst. That would speak to a new generation of kids frustrated with the status quo.
Casting Suggestion: Shia LeBeouf and Tobey Maguire. They both still look like kids but have major chops as big time action stars.
4. Easy Rawlins
Original Classic: Easy Rawlins is an African-American World War II vet living in Watts after the war. His stories not only involve crime solving, but also racial injustice. Denzel Washington played Easy Rawlins in the 1995 movie Devil in a Blue Dress.
Why It Needs a Reboot: Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Easy Rawlins was kind of soft. The character was slick and smooth. Rawlins needs a harder edge from a seedier actor. This will make his struggle more relatable to audiences still angry about social inequities.
Casting Suggestion: Laurence Fishburne. He can play like he’s from the streets (Boyz n the Hood) and can kick ass (The Matrix Trilogy).
3. Phillip Marlow
Original Classic: Phillip Marlow is the quintessential hard drinking, hard living, smart ass, no nonsense detective. He’s the guy sitting in a smoke filled office at night when the sultry mystery woman in a tight dress walks in pleading for help. He was a sucker for aiding damsels in distress.
Why It Needs a Reboot: The private eye movie is a lost art form. Audiences are ready for a flashback to a simpler formula. Phillip Marlow is a tough guy with issues, but he doesn’t whine about them. He knows that smoking, drinking and womanizing are bad for him. He just doesn’t care. Movie sleuths should not be super human. In fact, they are better when they are ridden with relatable weaknesses.
Casting Suggestion: Tom Sizemore. He is full of weaknesses. They are not all relatable but they are fun to watch.
Original Classic: No movie star was ever as cool as Steve McQueen. No role was better suited for him than Lieutenant Frank Bullitt. The 1968 movie is a classic. The car chase set the standard that is still pursued to this day.
Why It Needs a Reboot: American movie makers have forgotten how important a car can be in a film. The appearance of Bullitt’s Ford Mustang led to years of booming sales for the model. Too many car chase special effects are being made entirely on computers these days. Going old school with big stunts and real crashing cars will lure the NASCAR crowd.
Casting Suggestion: Brad Pitt. After making Fight Club and marrying Angelina Jolie, he cemented himself as the coolest guy in Hollywood.
Original Classic: Shaft was the ultimate in the Blaxploitation genre. Shaft didn’t take crap from anyone at a time when African-American dealt with a lot of crap in America. The movie empowered black audiences the same way Bruce Lee films empowered Asian-Americans
Why It Needs a Reboot: It has been a long time since we have seen a decent Blaxploitation film. The 2000 movie Shaft was not really a reboot since Samuel L. Jackson played the nephew of the original Shaft. A really scary dude needs to reboot the role of Shaft.
Casting Suggestion: Kimbo Slice. Do you know of a scarier guy? He became an internet star just by having his street fights posted to YouTube. He turned that into a professional career with the UFC. Acting is the next natural step.
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