Hollywood just can’t get enough of Alfred Hitchcock. With two movies about the man in the works — “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren and “The Girl” with Toby Jones and Sienna Miller — along with a brewing “Psycho” prequel and a remake of “To Catch a Thief,” everyone is trying to bring the master of suspense into the modern age. And now DreamWorks and Working Title are going to give it a try.
They’ve tapped “Eastern Promises” scribe Steven Knight to pen the script for a new take on Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca.” Now before you go howling, this actually isn’t a terrible idea. Yes, the original starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier is a stone cold classic and one of Hitchock’s best. That said, the source material from Daphne Du Maurier is really, really good (seriously, the novel is fantastic) and Knight will draw his screenplay from that. The story’s haunted tones and themes could easily be transposed to a contemporary setting in a film that could stand on its own. Yes, stepping out of the shadow of Hitchcock’s film is a monumental task, but if the approach is different enough, it could be compelling. We’re not willing to write this idea off just yet.
As you know, the story revolves around a young woman who marries a wealthy widowed man and goes to live in his grand home, only to find that the memory of his dead wife has an eerie hold on the staff and her husband. Plenty of room here to play with the setup, so we’ll be intrigued to see how this develops. Starting with Knight is a good first step. [Variety]