When it comes to writing a hard-boiled detective story, few are better than Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon). As for adapting those stories to the screen, few do it as expertly as Billy Ray (State of Play). Ray has been tapped to pen the current Warner Bros. adaptation of Hammett’s novel The Thin Man, starring Johnny Depp as Nick Charles, a retired private eye who maintains his drinking habit. Although Jerry Stahl (Bad Boys II) and David Koepp (Spider-Man) were initially on board for the script, director Rob Marshall decided to go in another direction and Ray landed the job. Personally, I think Marshall made the right choice.