As remakes of films have become more prevalent over the past several years, there were several directors and films thought to be sacrosanct and therefore immune from getting a modern day overhaul. But that looks like that is about to change with the announcement from DreamWorks that they are looking at a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Rebecca.
According to Variety, Eastern Promises scripter Steven Knight will be handling the adaption, and will be working form the same novel by Daphne DuMauier that Hitchcock used for his 1940 film which starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.
Normally, I would say that working from the same source material that Hictchcock used doesn’t necessarily constitute a remake, as Hitch would often use such things as a jumping off point to go in a different direction. A prime example would be his classic Psycho famously being inspired by the murders of Edward Gein, though the actual details between Gein’s murders and Hitchcock’s fictional Norman Bates’s killings are fairly different.
But in this case, with the exception of a few things mandated by the Production Code at the time, Hitchcock’s film follows DuMauier’s book fairly closely. This, of course, brings us to the question as to why DreamWorks would want to pursue the project. Perhaps Knight has pitched a story that starts with the basic story of DuMauier’s story but moves it in a different direction, similar to what Hitchcock would do when developing his films.
However, if that’s not the case, I have severe doubts that anyone can bring anything new or interesting to a story that Hitchcock has already so masterfully told, and I wonder as to who would have the hubris to try.