DreamWorks’ developing remake of the classic 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film Rebecca now has a director. Deadline reports that Nikolaj Arcel has been tapped to take the helm of the film, which has a script by Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight. Arcel most recently helmed the Danish film A Royal Affair, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year. Arcel is expected to do a quick rewrite on the script, but the report notes that his hiring already has young actresses eyeing the film.
The story of Rebecca enters on a young woman who marries a rich widower, only to find that her husband’s late wife still haunts their mansion estate. The redo will apparently be closer to Daphne Du Maurier’s source novel than Hitchcock’s film, but remaking Hitch’s only Best Picture winner is still a tall order.
There are many ups and downs in Alfred Hitchcock’s long and varied career. From the British filmmaker who was learning his craft to the skilled thriller filmmaker we know today, there were many periods of uncertainy and compromise in his filmography. After proving his mastery with such films as The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes in England, Hitch was invited to America to work for David O. Selznick. It led to Rebecca, Spellbound and Notorious, which Fox has now put out on Blu-ray, and through the three you can see Hitchhcock learning how to work in America while retaining and refining his voice. Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, and Cary Grant star in the movies, and our review of the three follow after the jump.
A new version of Rebecca is on its way courtesy of DreamWorks and Working Title. The Gothic novel by Daphne Du Maurier was famously adapted into a Best Picture winner by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940, and now Showblitz reports that Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight has been tapped to pen a new adaptation. Knight will return to Du Maurier’s novel for the update, which centers on a young woman who marries a rich widower, only to find that her husband’s late wife still haunts their mansion estate. I’m not the biggest fan of Du Maurier’s novel, but there’s something encouraging about the fact that DreamWorks and Working Title are bent on making a Gothic drama. Though in lesser hands Rebecca could easily turn into a cheap spook-fest, Knight is a promising addition. In a film landscape filled with sequels and explosions, I’m pulling for something different with Rebecca.
Obviously it’s early in the game, so no director is attached at the moment. Knight has written a few high profile scripts as of late, including the Dan Brown adaptation The Lost Symbol and an untitled thriller starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall. He’s set to make his directorial debut on the thriller Hummingbird with Jason Statham in the lead. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for Du Maurier’s Rebecca.