“Liam Neeson Takes on the Role of Quintessential Film Noir Detective in ‘Marlowe’ Trailer”

Liam Neeson becomes Raymond Chandler’s iconic private detective in the new trailer for Marlowe, co-starring Jessica Lange and Diane Kruger.

Liam Neeson in the movie Marlowe wearing a suit and hat, in the middle of buttoning his suit jacket while walking away from his 1930s car on a road lined with palm trees

Liam Neeson is the famous film noir detective in the new trailer for Marlowe. Neeson has been an Oscar nominee in his career, but now the veteran actor is mostly associated with B-level action movies, which he continues to churn out with regularity despite having “retired” from the genre on more than one occasion. Neeson’s next film is something of a change of pace, however.

Instead of a bruising modern-day action movie, Marlowe is a period-set film noir thriller starring Neeson as Raymond Chandler’s iconic literary detective Philip Marlowe.

In the new trailer for Marlowe from Open Road Films, Neeson shares the screen with Jessica Lange and Diane Kruger in what looks to be a noirish feast for fans of the venerable movie genre.

Echoes of classic noirs like Chinatown can be felt all over the clip, which promises a visually rich and very stylish evocation of 1930s Los Angeles.

All the film noir tropes seem to be in play as well, with Kruger looking to be a classic femme fatale.

Everything We Know About Marlowe

Diane Kruger In the movie Marlowe sitting in a chair in a hat with her lips pinched pointing a pistol

The synopsis for Marlowe reads as follows:

MARLOWE, a gripping noir crime thriller set in late 1930’s Los Angeles, centers around a street-wise, down on his luck detective; Philip Marlowe, played by Liam Neeson, who is hired to find the ex-lover of a glamorous heiress (Diane Kruger), daughter of a well-known movie star (Jessica Lange).

The disappearance unearths a web of lies, and soon Marlowe is involved in a dangerous, deadly investigation where everyone involved has something to hide.

Modern-day noir fans will of course be familiar with Marlowe director Neil Jordan, who helmed the classic thrillers Mona Lisa and The Crying Game.

Writer William Monahan should also be familiar to fans of crime movies as the screenwriter behind Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winner The Departed. And the cast of Marlowe is pretty loaded too.

Featured in the trailer are Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (His Dark Materials), Alan Cumming (GoldenEye), Danny Huston (Wonder Woman), Colm Meaney (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squad).

Though the trailer clearly promises a 1930s period film, Jordan said his true inspiration was the classic sci-fi noir movie Blade Runner.

He told Variety last year, “I’m making a film set in L.A. in the past, but somehow it’s a sci-fi film. […] It was a good reference for the designers and camera team.”

Judging by the above trailer, Chinatown must have been a big inspiration as well. The movie in fact features a strong Chinatown connection through villain Danny Huston, the son of Chinatown star John Huston.

Neeson Joins A Long List Of Actors Who’ve Played Philip Marlowe

Elliott Gould In The Long Goodbye walking down a hallway lined with paintings in a suit and tie with a cigarette dangling from his lips

Philip Marlowe was of course originated in the novels of Raymond Chandler, but soon came to be a fixture of film as well.

Humphrey Bogart gave perhaps the definitive portrayal in 1946’s The Big Sleep, though Dick Powell offered up another well-regarded version in 1944’s Murder, My Sweet.

James Garner later tackled the role in another movie simply titled Marlowe (that has nothing to do with the new Marlowe).

Marlowe then became huge during Hollywood’s 1970s Golden Age, being played by Elliott Gould in Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye and by Robert Mitchum in new adaptations of The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely. Neeson joins this illustrious list of Marlowe actors when the new film drops on February 15, 2023

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