Hard Boiled Private Eye Mike Hammer Getting Resurrected

Stacy Keach on Mike Hammer: Murder Takes All
(Image credit: CBS)

When it comes to hard-boiled private investigators Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe tend to steal all of the headlines, but Mike Hammer doesn't deserve to be ignored. Created by Mickey Spillane in 1947, Hammer was a harder-edged detective than both Marlowe and Spade, with violent and misanthropic tendencies. The character was famously brought to life by Darren McGavin and Stacy Keach in the television series Mike Hammer and The New Mike Hammer (which came out in the 1950s and 1980s, respectively). The character has been brought to the big screen a few times as well, with Armand Assante playing the role in 1982's I, The Jury, but now Warner Bros. is getting him ready for his comeback.

According to Deadline, the studio has acquired the rights to the character and are now working with Film 360 and Thunder Road to bring the detective back. But while the team knows that they want to make a new Mike Hammer movie, what is unknown at this point is how to go about it. Spillane wrote a total of 13 Hammer novels, and while I, The Jury makes the most sense to adapt (as its the first book featuring the protagnonist) it's already been done twice before - the first time coming in 1953 with Biff Elliot in the lead. The studio also isn't sure if they should take Hammer's story and put it in a contemporary setting or keep him back in the setting from the novels.

Warner Bros. obviously hopes that they can turn this into a franchise, but if they're successful who do you want to see starring as the no-nonsense, brutal, impatient detective? Who would be the best director for the material? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Eric Eisenberg
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.