Imagine the Hardy Boys as grown men? This new film does

Screenwriter Ed Solomon (Imagine That) told reporters that his upcoming project, The Hardy Men, will take a new look at the characters in the iconic Hardy Boys series of mystery novels.

"To me, it's really about these guys who are middle-aged men who are completely screwed up from having peaked in high school, basically, and have not evolved since then," Solomon said in a group interview Saturday in Beverly Hills, Calif.

SCI FI Wire spoke to Solomon at the press day for Imagine That, starring Eddie Murphy. The following is an edited version of that interview. Imagine That is being released by Paramount Pictures on June 12.

Is Hardy Men still happening?

Solomon: I'm in the middle of that. I've got to go write that, actually, now, today. Some things I write quickly; Hardy Men I have to do pretty quickly.

With Men in Black you were able to create fantastic situations and yet step back and acknowledge them. Is that the kind of approach you're planning to take with The Hardy Men?

Solomon: Yeah, well, the source material for Hardy Men is just the, ... it's not so much the books themselves as what we remember, or what we think we remember from the
Hardy Boys. But, really, ... because it's Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller, who are such really interesting actors, to me, it's really about these guys who are middle-aged men who are completely screwed up from having peaked in high school, basically, and have not evolved since then. They don't speak to each other anymore, live in different places, have disavowed their past, [and] have to come back in and sort of really deal with their own really complicated psyches.

That could run the risk of stepping on toes with that one.

Solomon: Sure, maybe. I mean, hopefully it will just be a lot of fun.

Have you done research on the Hardy Boys?

Solomon: I've read some of the early novels, but I've read cursory research. I haven't done in-depth research. I know that they were initially written in one way, in the '30s, when they were a lot darker, and then they got cleaned up, I think in '59. I would like to read them, but really to me, it's not one of those projects where you're trying to be really true to the original material, because there's so much of it.

It's more about being true to the memory of it, in a way. Also, because we're not writing the Hardy Boys as teenagers, but the Hardy Boys as 40-year-olds, we have a lot of liberty to play with that, I guess.