New version of Rebecca to be haunted by the memory of Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca
Alfred Hitchcock won his only Best Picture Oscar for 1940’s Rebecca, suggesting that anyone who would attempt their own adaptation of Daphne du Marier’s novel—as DreamWorks and Working Title are now planning—would be haunted by the lingering spirit of their predecessor, with everyone cruelly comparing this would-be replacement to the original Rebecca and forever finding it wanting. And then cinephilia's various housekeepers, who have preserved Hitchcock's room in their hearts just as he left it, would encourage this new film to commit suicide, and other referential metaphors. But this younger, updated version of Rebecca has a few wiles of its own, at least: For one, screenwriter Steven Knight—whose screenplays for Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises confirm he has a way with secrets and plot twists—will be drawing from the original novel, not deliberately trying to ape Hitchcock’s (admittedly faithful) version. For another, there is, as yet, no plan to make it more teen-oriented or “gadgety,” which automatically puts it leagues ahead of all the other Hitchcock remakes that have been allowed to escape ever since Gus Van Sant broke the seal. In truth, the new Rebecca can never replace the old Rebecca, but that’s no reason to go around screaming at it. Why don't you stay here a while and rest, and listen to the sea?