Ben Wheatley goes Hitchcock with Rebecca adaptation, starring Lily James

Lily James Downton Abbey

Ben Wheatley is a filmmaker who catches our attention quite often here at Arrow in the Head, as he has directed such films as KILL LIST, SIGHTSEERS, A FIELD IN ENGLAND, and HIGH-RISE, and contributed a segment to THE ABCs OF DEATH. Last year I was tracking the progress of his homage to '50s B-movies FREAKSHIFT, which was meant to star Alicia Vikander, Sasha Lane, and Armie Hammer, and tell a story of "women with shotguns fighting giant crabs". Unfortunately, FREAKSHIFT doesn't appear to have made it into production yet, but Wheatley has now caught our attention with another project.

Wheatley has signed on to direct an adaptation of the 1938 Daphne du Maurier novel REBECCA for Netflix. What makes this especially interesting is the fact that the most popular previous adaptation of the novel, one which was rather faithful to the source material, was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, Hitchcock earned his first "Best Director" Oscar nomination for that 1940 film. (Four more would follow over the next 21 years, for LIFEBOAT, SPELLBOUND, REAR WINDOW, and PSYCHO.)

REBECCA tells the story of 

a newly-married young woman who, on arriving at her husband’s imposing family estate on a bleak English coast, finds herself battling the shadow of his dead first wife, the mysterious titular character, whose legacy continues to haunt the house.

Jane Goldman will write the screenplay for Wheatley's REBECCA, which is set to star Lily James (pictured above) and the man who almost got to face giant crabs in FREAKSHIFT, Armie Hammer.

Wheatley and Hammer previously worked together on the '70s-set gunfight movie FREE FIRE.

This new take on REBECCA is being produced by Eric Fellner for Working Title, alongside Tim Bevan and Nira Park.

This seems like a challenging project to take on, since this twist-filled dark drama was already told perfectly by Hitchcock... but that was 78 years ago, so it will be interesting to see how Wheatley and Goldman tell the story all this time later.

Source: TheWrap



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