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IN THE WORKS: Studios Raid Hitchcock Files, First 'Rebecca,' Now 'Suspicion'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 13, 2012 at 9:41PM

Joan Fontaine was nominated for the Oscar for two back-to-back Hitchcock masterpieces, 1940's "Rebecca" and 1941's "Suspicion," and won for the latter. In the space of a week it looks like two studios are prepping remakes of those films. Of course, Working Title/DreamWorks and Montecito/Paramount insist that they are returning to the source, Daphne Du Maurier and Francis Iles ("Before the Fact"), respectively. (UPDATE: For more on these Hitchcock films, read Dave Kehr's latest NYT DVD column.)
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Suspicion
Suspicion

Joan Fontaine was nominated for the Oscar for two back-to-back Hitchcock masterpieces, 1940's "Rebecca" and 1941's "Suspicion," and won for the latter. In the space of a week it looks like two studios are prepping remakes of those films.  Of course, Working Title/DreamWorks and Montecito/Paramount insist that they are returning to the source, Daphne Du Maurier and Francis Iles ("Before the Fact"), respectively. (UPDATE: For more on these Hitchcock films, read Dave Kehr's latest NYT DVD column.)

With all the film talent flocking to cable, it's nice to see the flow coming back Hollywood's way: TV scribe and showrunner Veena Sud (who turned the Danish series "The Killing" into a hit AMC series) is writing up "Suspicion" for Montecito and Paramount, reports Variety.

The story is about a mousy, wealthy young woman (Fontaine) who meets and marries a charming rogue (Cary Grant), who may or may not be what he claims. She becomes more and more concerned about his odd behavior, to the point that she thinks he wants to do her in. 

Hitchcock remains one of the most commercial filmmakers of all time. He had a knack for figuring out how to put together stories that audiences would want to see, often playing into our fears and anxieties by asking us to identify with his flawed protagonists. The studios are poring through their library catalogues and public domain titles to see what they can mine that has already proven successful and easily sold as a genre title, like a thriller.

So far Hitch can rest easy, as none of the myriad remakes and rip-offs of his work has ever challenged his originals, from Gus Van Sant's heartfelt "Psycho" shot-by-shot recreation to Robert Towne's "Mission: Impossible II," loosely inspired by my all-time fave Hitchcock, "Notorious."

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, Remake, Classics, DreamWorks, Paramount/Vantage/Insurge/CBS


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.