The writer-director quickly drafted Scarlett Johansson to star as an American student in London who becomes involved with an aristocrat (Hugh Jackman) in "Scoop" (2006), though that follow-up came and went without much fanfare. Her next outing was "The Black Dahlia" (2006), Brian De Palma's take on James Ellroy's complicated and richly-textured noir thriller about two hard-edged cops (Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart) who descend into obsession, corruption and se*ual degeneracy while investigating the infamous brutal mur*der of a would-be actress (Mia Kirshner). Again, Johansson was believable as a sensual, smart woman able to woo men against their better judgment, but the film was not well received.
She rebounded with the well-reviewed blockbuster "The Prestige" (2006), a Victorian-set supernatural thriller about two stage magicians (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) in an ongoing feud that takes them both to the top of their careers, but with terrible consequences. Fast-forwarding to the 1930s, Johansson co-starred in the unsuccessful attempt to bring Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan to the screen with "A Good Woman" (2006). While the actress was now a presence in the Top Ten lists of men's cheesecake magazines like Maxim and FHM, the well-grounded actress hardly took her new Hot symbol status seriously, and continued with a run of decidedly non-male oriented films, starting with the surprisingly commercial comedy "The Nanny Diaries" (2007). The adaptation of the bestseller did not survive its reinvention as a screen comedy and underperformed at the box office.