While the genres of drama and comedy have countless examples of films that shouldn’t and probably won’t ever get a remake, such as Casablanca, Gone With the Wind and The Apartment. The horror genre is nowhere near as lucky, with a shitload of standout features getting remade and rebooted over the years, often more than once. I would have sworn even eight months ago that Roman Polanski’s near-perfect 1968 spookfest Rosemary’s Baby would have been untouchable, but NBC has turned the classic into an upcoming miniseries, and actress Zoe Saldana has been cast to lead the film as Rosemary herself. This is nowhere near as devilish a casting decision as the network could have made, but it doesn’t exactly make it essential viewing just yet.
According to Deadline, the miniseries will more or less follow the same story as the film, with Saldana in the role originally filled with excellence by Mia Farrow. Rosemary and her as-yet-uncast husband travel from the States to Paris, moving into an apartment that doesn’t have the most savory history. She first takes her long-awaited pregnancy as a wonderful sign, though she begins to suspect her husband and her neighbors planning on doing something with her child once it’s born.
Now, we all know what happens in the end, so it’ll take some clever reworking to make this story feel fresh all these years later. That the movie still feels timeless works against the series, but there is room for some kind of advancement. (And not just adding a first-person perspective like the found footage horror Devil’s Due.) The script was written by Scott Abbott, whose last produced screenplay was for the highly intolerable Anne Rice adaptation Queen of the Damned.
But at least all four segments of Rosemary’s Baby will be helmed by the same man, the highly talented Polish director Agnieszka Holland, who has made a name for himself in the U.S. directing episodes of such acclaimed series as The Wire and Treme. His last feature was 2011’s powerfully intense war drama In Darkness, which will undoubtedly be more memorable than this series.
Saldana has made quite a name for herself after her 2009 breakout in both J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek and James Cameron’s Avatar, and had a big 2013 starring in Star Trek Into Darkness and the brotherly crime dramas Blood Ties and Out of the Furnace. This year, she’ll be balancing the big budget tentpole film Guardians of the Galaxy with a couple of jazz films, starring as the legendary Nina Simone in Nina and as Francis Taylor in Kill the Trumpet Player, which will be about the even more legendary Miles Davis. She’ll also voice a role in Jorge R. Gutierrez’s upcoming Day of the Dead romance animation The Book of Life.
You can watch the original Rosemary’s Baby over at Netflix, and you probably should. Here’s the trailer.