Let us take this time to bemoan Hollywood’s love affair with unnecessary remakes. DreamWorks and Working Title Films are reportedly set on remaking Alfred Hitchcock’s Academy Award-winning Rebecca because, oh, who the hell knows why?
Hitchcock’s 1940 film garnered him his sole Best Picture Oscar and remains one of his finest and most beloved films. The original starred no less than Laurence Olivier as the rich Maxim de Winter, who marries the innocent Joan Fontaine, and takes her back to his mansion, where she slowly discovers the weird hold the deceased Mrs. de Winter (that’s Rebecca to you) has over the entire household. That’s just the very tip of the iceberg of Rebecca, which is twisty and twisted and smart and evocative and really a story about love.
Which is why the guy who wrote Eastern Promises (and a pair of other internationally-tinged thrillers) is going to pen a new version for the screen. Of course.
Okay, now I’ll lay off Steven Knight because there may be one interesting piece to this news. According to Variety, this new film “will go back to the original book by Daphne DuMaurier” for its plotting. Cool, right? Except Hitchcock’s version only differs from the book in one essential way (spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Rebecca, and why haven’t you seen Rebecca?) – thanks to the demands of the Hollywood Production Code, Maxim doesn’t outright kill Rebecca in the film, she accidentally bumps her big, crazy, slutty head and dies. In the book, Maxim shoots her dead, which might potentially add a different layer of feeling to this new film. Possibly. We’ll see. Maybe.
Knight is making his feature directorial debut with Hummingbird, starring Jason Statham, which will open sometime next year.