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Casting Call: The Thin Man

It is hard to imagine another actress stepping into Myrna Loy's role: Nick's zany socialite wife, Nora Charles. After six Thin Man films, and a career of playing Nora-esque roles, Nora and Myrna seem inextricably linked. While many modern day actresses might be beautiful enough for the role, who could match Ms. Loy's charm and transform Nora into a true, Zelda Fitzgeraldian delight? After much deliberation, we think that Maggie Gyllenhaal's sideways smile might just do the trick.

Ahh, the middle-aged man and his secretary: a cliché that, apparently, dates to long before 1934. It's not much of a part, and we know she's sort of a big deal now, but we'd love to see Jessica Chastain in a cameo as Julia Wolf, the calculating mistress and former call-girl whose murder sets the whole film off.

First, Nick Charles, the role originally inhabited by William Powell. While we have much respect for Johnny Depp and his capacity to play amusing alcoholics, we think that our February cover star, Michael Fassbender, would be a more interesting choice for the retired private investigator. Fassbender's made a name for himself with serious, brooding, hyper-masculine roles, but we reckon he's got a bit of humor in him somewhere and just needs a pencil mustache to bring it out. He was in Inglorious Basterds, after all.

Poor, poor Dorothy Wynant; she seems like a pretty together girl who just wants her father to walk her down the aisle when she marries her beau, Tommy. But when Dorothy's father becomes a murder-suspect, Dorothy's wedding is indefinitely postponed and she's left with her money-mad mad woman of a mother and her younger brother, Gilbert, who seems to have recently discovered Freud and won't stop talking about Dorothy's "Oedipus complex" (we would actually call that an Elektra complex, Gilbert, but no matter). We'd like Alison Brie to try her hand as Dorothy, originally played by Mia Farrow's mother, Maureen O'Sullivan.

Gilbert Wynant is an odd duck. A bit overly devoted to his mother, and with a morbid and rather annoying fascination with psychopathology and criminology, Gilbert has no interest in helping his sister clear their father's name. We think Thomas McDonell should take a break from playing heartthrobs, put on a pair of earnest-looking glasses, and channel his inner creeper as Gilbert.

We want to have some sympathy for Clyde's ex-wife, Mimi Wynant: her husband cheated on her with his secretary and that's pretty dismal of him, so we understand why she chose to leave him. Unfortunately, mercenary Mimi is motivated by money; her desire is to collect as much as she can from her ex-husband so that she can fund her new husband trumps any concern she has for her daughter, Dorothy. We think that Brooke Shields could have some fun playing the original Mrs. Wynant.