Here's my pitch: a Casablanca sequel, only not. It's the story of Rick and Captain Renault's "beautiful friendship." You don't make it explicitly a sequel, out of respect for the original, which is perfect. If anyone brings it up, you deny, deny, deny, deny. But, in a postmodern way, it's obvious. It's what might have happened. Your two characters have Rick and Renault's backstories, which aren't filled in all that completely in the first place. Unlucky-in-love American hardcase restored to his International Brigades idealism, Frenchman whose attack of conscience has blown his career as a raffishly bent copper. You cast them, make them up, and shoot them to match Bogart and Rains as closely as possible, though not so closely that you topple over into parody. We need Clooney for this, obviously. And somebody French, or somebody like Rains who can be more French than a Frenchman. Where'd all the white French leading men go?—maybe we use Charles Berling? Anyway, the characters don't have Rick and Renault's names, but then, Rick and Renault wouldn't be fighting under their real names anyway, would they? Hell, even in Casablanca we can't be sure either man is using the name that was on his birth certificate. So they have adventures. Fighting the Nazis. It's gold. But it's not a sequel. In fact, forget I ever said anything.