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Hitchcock Mania Continues With Brit TV Remake Of ‘The Lady Vanishes’

Hitchcock Mania Continues With Brit TV Remake Of 'The Lady Vanishes'

Need more Hitchock in your life? Well for starters, there are two movies about the legendary filmmaker on the way with Toby Jones playing the director in the upcoming “The Girl” with Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren, and there’s Anthony Hopkins leading “Hitchcock” alongside a massive ensemble of big names. And next month Universal will break your wallet by dropping the “Alfred Hitchock: The Masterpiece Collection” on BluRay, a boxset of 15 iconic films, 13 of which will be in the high def format for the first time. But wait, there’s more…..

The BBC is gearing up a remake of “The Lady Vanishes” that will present a new take on the master director’s early thriller. If somehow you havne’t seen the film (and really, fix that immediately), the story follows a young woman who investigates the disappearance of an elderly lady in the midst of a train journey — but no one seems to believe she ever existed. It’s an early and excellent movie by Hitchcock, and as these things usually go, it doesn’t really need to be remade, but here are the details in case you are interested.

Penned by Fiona Seres, she has used the source novel, “The Wheel Spins” by Ethel White, for her adaptation which actually differs pretty widely from the movie (spoilers ahead) — we’ll let Wikipedia explain: 


In ‘The Wheel Spins’, Miss Froy really is an innocent old lady looking forward to seeing her octogenarian parents; she is abducted because she knows something (without realising its significance) that would cause trouble for the local authorities if it came out. Iris’ mental confusion is due to sunstroke, not a blow to the head. In White’s novel, the wheel keeps spinning: the train never stops, and there is no final shootout. Additionally, the supporting cast differs somewhat; for instance, in the novel, the Gilbert character is Max Hare, a young English engineer building a dam in the hills who knows the local language, and there is also a modern-languages professor character who acts as Iris’s and Max’s interpreter who does not appear in the film. The characters Charters and Caldicott were created for the film, and do not appear in the novel.


So maybe there’s a case to be made for this film after all. Keeley Hawes (“Upstairs Downstairs“), Gemma Jones (“Spooks“) and Julian Rhind-Tutt (“The Hour“) will star, with Brit TV vet Diarmuid Lawrence directing. And this one will be coming soon, with a Christmas airing on British television already slated.

While this idea of the Hitchock do-over generally makes us bristle, this may perhaps be different enough to warrant a viewing. But if anything, hopefully it’ll bring more people to watch the original, which isn’t a bad thing at all. [Deadline]

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