Though it seems incredibly unlikely with the way most of the Oscar precursor awards have gone so far, it’s my hope that when this year’s Oscar nominations are announced in a few hours, that they’ll include a Best Actor nomination for Clive Owen in Children of Men. Though there has been the occasional fubar (King Arthur), Clive seems only to get better with every film he’s in. He’s more than earned a nomination. Will he get it? Probably not, but at least we’ll have plenty more of him. He’s just lined up his next project.

Variety reports that Clive has been hired by Universal to play a hardcore private dick named Philip Marlowe. Marlowe is a fictional character created by Raymond Chandler for a series of detective novels. The first Marlowe book was “The Big Sleep”, published in 1939. I love the way Wikipedia describes the character, it sounds like a dream role for Clive fans. Wikipedia calls him “a pessimistic and cynical observer of a corrupt society, yet the enduring appeal of Marlowe and other hardboiled detectives lies in their tarnished idealism. Underneath the wisecracking, hard drinking, tough private eye, Marlowe is quietly contemplative and philosophical.”

The character of Philip Marlowe has been adapted for film and television many times before. Clive Owen will be following in the footsteps of people like Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, Robert Mitchum, Eliot Gould, Danny Glover, James Garner, and James Caan. If you're Clive, that's got to feel cool.

Cinema could use a little more noir and Clive Owen is going to bring it. Their plan is to keep the noir style of the books, right down to Marlowe’s testerone laced narration, which will be done by Owen. It seems part of the reason the latched on to him for the part is the character narration he did for Dwight in Sin City. They’ll keep the noir, keep the 1940’s time period, and keep him a heavy drinking, wiseass PI. Sounds great.

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