With the remake trend showing no signs of stopping, I wouldn't be surprised if this one actually happens.
Some might call remaking The Maltese Falcon a sacrilege, but the 1941 classic film was actually the third onscreen adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's 1929/1930 novel. It was preceded by a 1931 version, which was apparently not great anyways, and - due to keeping the book's sexual and gay elements - censored after the Hays Code came into effect in 1934. Then in 1936, another version was released, but ended up differing so much from the source material that it was renamed Satan Met a Lady.
My dream version might not top the 1941 film, but hopefully would be more successful than the 1931 and 1936 attempts!
Previously in Dream Cast:
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Sam Spade - Armie Hammer
|He'd have to lose the beard, though.|
Brigid O'Shaughnessy - Amy Adams
|Brigid knows blue dresses bring out her eyes.|
Joel Cairo - Riz Ahmed
|Get this man some flashy jewelry and an ascot.|
|Don't think she won't turn you into a Lobster.|
Wilmer Cook - Alex Wolff
|Wilmer goes up against Sam a few times. None of them go well.|
Fun fact: Originally, Hammett had Spade refer to Wilmer as a "catamite," but his editor thought that was too explicit. So Hammett used "gunsel," a word that basically meant the same thing (a gay man's boy toy), but was more obscure. Since Wilmer is also a gunman, lots of readers took gunsel to mean that, and the meaning has morphed.
Effie Perine is Spade's optimistic, competent Girl Friday secretary. The Maltese Falcon presents an extremely rose-colored-glasses version of workplace sexual harassment, where Spade calls Effie lots of pet names and rests his head against her for comfort, and everything is portrayed as consensual and harmlessly platonic. (I'd tone down the pawing for sure.) As a longtime administrative professional, I've got a soft spot for Effie.
Critchlow is both adorable and kickass as a wide-eyed cop in Crunchyroll's Anime Crimes Division (it's a little embarrassing to admit I watch Anime Crimes Division, which is...kind of the point of the show, which is very good), and I'd love to see her break out in film.
Iva Archer - Aubrey Plaza
|Would you want to cross Aubrey Plaza?|
Rhea Gutman - Anya Taylor-Joy
Rhea's role in The Maltese Falcon is the most confounding. She comes out of nowhere, and her part seems to be a red herring. However, her short scene - drugged, keeping herself awake by scratching her stomach with a pin, ostensibly trying to help Spade - is lurid enough to stick in one's imagination. What's her story? Whose side is she on? Maltese Falcon expert and super-fan Don Herron summarizes a few fan theories here, including one that attests she and Wilmer are actually one and the same! I personally don't think that's the case, and as such would cast different people in the roles. Anya Taylor-Joy, of The Witch and Thoroughbreds, would be beguiling in a cameo as Rhea.
Header image: 1941 movie poster
Armie Hammer: from Sorry to Bother You
Amy Adams: from American Hustle
Riz Ahmed: from IMDb
Olivia Colman: from The Lobster
Alex Wolff: from Hereditary
Riley Rose Critchlow: from IMDb
Aubrey Plaza: from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Anya Taylor-Joy: from IMDb
Maltese Falcon statue prop: Wikimedia Commons