Considering he’s the most instantly recognizable and iconic filmmaker of all time (bar perhaps Charlie Chaplin), a man whose silhouette alone became a brand name, it’s surprising that no one has ever made a film about Alfred Hitchcock, especially considering the particular obsessions in his films seem thematically rife for a biographical approach. But it seems that finally, over 30 years after his death, the time has come. Anthony Hopkins and “Anvil” director Sasha Gervasi are planning “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho,” from a script from “Black Swan” scribe John McLaughlin (a project once earmarked for “Glee” and “American Horror Story” mastermind Ryan Murphy; consider that a bullet dodged).
Should that project come to pass, it’ll have a little competition, albeit on the small screen, as Broadcast (via Hey U Guys) report that a 90-minute drama called “The Girl,” which focuses on the director’s obsessive relationship with Tippi Hedren, who starred in “The Birds” and “Marnie,” has been comissioned by the BBC. Julian Jarrold (“Becoming Jane,” “Red Riding: 1974“) is directing a script from Gwyneth Hughes (“Miss Austen Regrets,” “Five Days“) which will detail how Hitchcock attempted to sabotage the model-turned-actress’ career after she rejected his advances.
And they’ve got a hugely impressive cast on board. The omnipresent Toby Jones (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “My Week with Marilyn,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” basically every other movie that came out this year) will play Hitchcock, while Sienna Miller will take on the role of Hedren, with Hughes commenting that when the two actresses met recently, “they got on like a house on fire.” The pair replace Timothy Spall and January Jones, who were linked to the project earlier in the year. Meanwhile, Oscar-nominee Imelda Staunton (“Vera Drake“) will play the filmmaker’s long-suffering wife Alma, and Penelope Wilton (“Shaun of the Dead“) will take on his assistant, Peggy Robertson.
The BBC’s specialized in this kind of biographical drama in recent years, but the subject matter seems pretty ripe and the casting couldn’t be more promising; Jones seems a natural fit for Hitchcock, and Miller’s been underrated for her turns in films like “Interview” and “The Edge of Love.” There’s no exact word on filming or broadcast, but it looks like it’ll air on BBC Two some time in 2012 and hopefully make its way across the pond not long after.