Philip Marlowe could soon be back on the case.
ABC is teaming with producer Sean Bailey for a fresh take on Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled detective. Greg Pruss and Carol Wolper will write and exec produce the potential series along with Daniel H. Blatt, Phil Clymer and Bailey.
Hourlong drama “Marlowe” — one of three scripts Bailey has set up at the Alphabet this season via the LivePlanet banner — would be a present-day procedural crime drama with noir aspects and set in Los Angeles.
Touchstone Television, which has an overall deal with Bailey, will produce if the project goes to pilot.
Bailey said “Marlowe” will be “a detective show, but very much a character-based one.
“He’s a guy who can travel in the highest echelons of power and the darkest and dirtiest corners of the city,” he added, noting the new Marlowe will still “get his ass kicked every once in a while.”
As of now, there are no plans to use any of Chandler’s Marlowe books (“The Big Sleep,” et al.) as source material for storylines.
Still, “You can expect to see your femme fatales and very wealthy individuals,” Bailey said.
Producer said the project came together when Endeavor, along with the rights holders to the Marlowe character, contacted him “with the idea of updating the DNA of Marlowe and taking him into 21st century LA.”
“Greg and Carol then came on board with the take that really cracked it for us,” Bailey added.
Live Planet VP Daniel Pipski has been actively involved in the development of all three Bailey projects and is expected to snag a producer credit if the scripts get picked up.
The Marlowe character is no stranger to television. Powers Boothe played the gumshoe in the early 1980s HBO period drama “Philip Marlowe, Private Eye,” which ran for several years.
On the bigscreen, Marlowe has been played by Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Elliot Gould and James Garner, among others.
Also on the police tip, Bailey has partnered with “Philly” co-creator Alison Cross on “Inside,” a crime drama set up at ABC.
“Inside” revolves around a female undercover cop in Los Angeles who uses her perfect instincts to stay alive as she reinvents herself during every case.
Cross, most recently on “Commander in Chief,” will write the pilot. She’ll exec produce with Bailey via Touchstone.
“Tonally, think of movies like ‘The Insider’ or ‘Donnie Brasco,'” Bailey said. “It’s a very authentic look at this world, rather than light and cheerful.”
Bailey is also attached as exec producer on “Plan B,” an Ol Parker-penned hour about a group of thirtysomething friends in Portland who re-evaluate their lives after a friend dies. Parker will co-exec produce.
“It’s very much a relationship drama in the tone of ‘Love, Actually’,” Bailey said. “It’s funny, sad, poignant, charming — all the good things Richard Curtis does well.”
Last season, Bailey wrote and exec produced the ABC pilot “Enemies,” helmed by F. Gary Gray (“The Italian Job”).
On the film side, Bailey is producing Live Planet partner Ben Affleck’s upcoming helming debut, “Gone, Baby, Gone.”