Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to pulp author Mickey Spillane’s rough-hewn, brilliantly unsympathetic private eye Mike Hammer. There are currently no specifics on the film adaptation, but one thing’s for sure: the studio has its work cut out to compete with the best and most brazenly unhinged Hammer adaptation, Robert Aldrich’s “Kiss Me Deadly” (1955).
Author Max Allan Collins, who wrote “Road to Perdition” and continues the Hammer series following Spillane’s death in 2006, will serve as an executive producer on the film, along with Spillane’s widow, Jane Spillane.
Warner Bros. reportedly won the rights after a long period of negotiations, and is currently deciding on whether a modern update or period-true, 1940s-50s adaptation is best for this iteration of Hammer.
Aside from Ralph Meeker, who played the detective as an unfeeling lug facing nuclear annihilation in Aldrich’s film, Hammer was also played by Stacy Keach throughout the ’80s on TV, and by Armande Assante in 1982’s “I, the Jury,” the last time the character was adapted for film.
Which contemporary actor would make a great Mike Hammer? Tom Hardy comes to mind.