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Nancy Drew
The decisions behind this movie are a mystery
Nancy Drew
Emma Roberts Stars in "Nancy Drew".
OPENING WEEKEND: $23,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $91,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

March 26th, 2007: The film tells the story of Nancy (Emma Roberts) as she accompanies her father Carson (Tate Donovan) to Los Angeles on one of his business trips and stumbles across evidence about a long-unsolved crime involving the mysterious death of a beautiful movie star. Nancy's resourcefulness and personal responsibility are put to the test when she finds herself in the middle of the fast-living, self-indulgent world of Hollywood.

What to Expect: The series was created in 1930 by Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. There were many ghostwriters, who wrote the books, but they all signed away their rights to authorship or future royalties to Stratemeyer, and as a result all copies were published under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, regardless of the actual author. Over 200 million books have been sold worldwide, and have went through many revisions for the sake of keeping up with the times, but the overall heart of the story remains true to the original.

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Throughout the years there have been plenty of mysteries that the young Nancy Drew undertook and for the film Warner Bros. decided to go down the path of a murder case. An odd decision in my opinion, since the classic series never featured Nancy involved in a murder mystery. While the actual case is said to be an original, it will still take many elements from the early books. The movie will feature Nancy searching for a will, which is also featured in her first mystery book, "The Secret of the Old Clock." Also, housekeeper Hannah Gruen does not appear in the movie, who is known for being a mother figure and a big part of Nancy's life, after the passing of Nancy's mother. Many fans might complain about this being an oversight, but in the original books (1930-1940), Nancy's relationship with Hannah is strictly employer/employee and often has Nancy give orders to her maid. It was not until the revisions that changed the time of the mother's death and the relationship between Nancy and Hannah.

Another odd direction was casting the 14-year-old, brunette Emma Roberts to play the lead role. The books mention Nancy to be 16 when the series made its debut and then the age was changed to 18 for the later installments. Even though it seems the studio is sticking to the early works, most fans are more accustomed to the 18 year old detective, who has finishing high school and at one point even gone off to college. Funny enough, Roberts was not the original choice of Warner Bros., as the studio first planned to go with Amanda Bynes (She's the Man), who would have been 19 during the start of shooting and is an actual blonde, which is how Nancy is described.

Even though Roberts has never read a single Nancy Drew book before being cast, she is not a bad choice for the part, as the actress has a few projects under her belt. She starred opposite Johnny Depp in Blow, had one of the lead roles in last year's Aquamarine and has appeared in the majority of the episodes of Nickelodeon's "Unfabulous" TV show. She also comes from the right family, being the daughter of the best B movie actor Eric Roberts and the niece of Oscar winner Julia Roberts.

It seems casting Roberts is a hint that the studio is targeting this film for a very young audience, instead of for the legions of fans who grew up with the series and are now way passed their teenage years. Nancy Drew will be featured as more of a young, spunky detective solving crimes and having fun. This route is the complete opposite of the books, in which Nancy sometimes carries a gun, breaks and enters, trespasses, driver her car at high speeds and at times rude to adults and even law enforcement. The movie might possibly disappoint many fans, and at the same time attract a new and younger audience that has never heard of Nancy Drew and will enjoy the movie for what it is, which is about a cute, popular girl dealing with life and solving mysteries.

To make this movie happen Warner Bros. hired an actual fan of the books, who looks more than capable of handling this project. Andrew Fleming the man behind Dick, The In-Laws and more importantly The Craft, has been chosen to write and direct Nancy Drew. His goal has been to keep the film in the present in terms of the heroine's character and outlook on life, and according to him, the story will remain true to the Nancy Drew mystery book series.

In Conclusion: Nancy Drew has the potential to be the next Harry Potter, but the studio is not focusing on any particular book, and instead going in their own direction. Potter does its best to stick to the original source and that is part of the reason why the films are so popular. If Nancy Drew is even mildly successful at the box office, Warner Bros. might have a franchise on their hands that will never run out of material, which is perfect for today's Hollywood that is involved in mostly remakes, sequels and adaptations. Over the years, Nancy Drew has actually solved over 500 cases.

For the many fans that will not find the Nancy Drew they know in this movie, I suggest re-reading the old books, and waiting patiently for the already planned adaptation of The Hardy Boys, entitled The Hardy Men, which will star Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller.

Similar Titles: Scooby Doo, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: Season One, Dick
June 15th, 2007 (wide)
March 11th, 2008 (DVD)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Andrew Fleming

Emma Roberts, Josh Flitter, Max Thieriot, Tate Donovan, Rachael Leigh Cook, Barry Bostwick

Total: 76 vote(s).

Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Suspense

Click here to view site

Rated PG for mild violence, thematic elements and brief language

99 min





Nancy Drew at RottenTomatoes.com

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