British filmmaker Ben Wheatley (High-Rise) is set to direct a new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier‘s classic 1938 novel Rebecca that will star Lily James and Armie Hammer, Collider has learned. Netflix is teaming with powerhouse production company Working Title on the project, and while the streaming service is avoiding the dreaded “r” word, as in “remake,” Rebecca is based on the same story as Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1940 film of the same name starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.
Jane Goldman wrote the script this time around, and it follows a newly-married young woman who visits her husband’s imposing family estate on a bleak English coast, where she finds herself battling the shadow of his dead first wife — the mysterious Rebecca — whose legacy continues to haunt the house.
Working Title principals Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan will produce alongside Nira Park, and production is slated to start in the spring. The project has been coming together over the past few months as Netflix and Working Title worked out some rights issues with the author’s estate.
Wheatley is the acclaimed director of Kill List and Sightseers and he seems a natural fit for this gothic romance tale. While I can’t say I’m a fan of each and every one of his films, he has a unique style and I’m certainly eager to see what he does with this kind of material, not to mention two stars in their prime such as James and Hammer.
James is coming off the summer box office hit Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again as well as last year’s Best Picture contender Darkest Hour. She also starred in Disney’s live-action Cinderella and played the female lead in Baby Driver, which was produced by Working Title and Park. James re-teamed with Working Title on Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis‘ untitled musical, which sings its way into theaters on June 28, 2019.
Hammer recently starred in last year’s awards darling Call Me By Your Name and the absurdist comedy Sorry to Bother You. He’ll soon be seen playing Felicity Jones‘ husband in the Ruth Bader Ginsburg drama On the Basis of Sex, and co-starring in the harrowing thriller Hotel Mumbai, which I reviewed out of Toronto. Hammer also plays the lead in an upcoming untitled thriller from Under the Shadow director Babak Anvari. He previously worked with Wheatley on Free Fire.
WME and Independent Talent Group represent Wheatley and Goldman, and WME also reps Hammer. James is repped by UTA and Tavistock Wood Management.