A high octane thrill ride of a remake like Gareth Edwards’ upcoming Godzilla can temporarily make one forget that there are hundreds of haphazard money grab remakes hovering just on the horizon. One of the most glaring of these potential crapfests is the updated version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds coming from Mandalay Pictures and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes. There have been directors of varying quality attached to this unneeded project in the past, but the latest to sign on could be the most inspired choice yet, as Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen will fly with The Birds as his English-language studio debut. Even after reading it and typing it, my brain is still having trouble mulling it over.
Van Rooijen is quite an accomplished director in his own country, though American audiences may know him from the solid 2012 thriller Taped (which has an English remake coming) or for last year’s secret-filled mystery thriller Daylight. He’s also worked extensively in Dutch TV, mostly recently as director and co-creator of the crime drama Penoza, which was remade here in the States for ABC as Red Widow. There’s a pretty good chance this remake could be impressive, at least as far as the look of it goes.
The latest version of The Birds’ screenplay was written by newcomer Jonathan Herman, with previous versions written by Sinister’s Scott Derrickson and State of Play’s Billy Ray, among others. It was at one point going to be helmed by Casino Royale’s Martin Campbell, and then it was given to Last House on the Left’s Dennis Iliadis.
As THR states, this version was at one point described as being closer to the Daphne du Maurier short story that inspired Hitchcock’s film, but it’s unclear if that’s still the case. Either way, the plot should follow a similar plotline of "people who are living an unsuspecting life are plagued by hordes of birds seemingly trying to make their lives a living hell." Check out the extended trailer for the classic below, with one of the esteemed director’s famous introductions.
The only thing we need to know now is what actress Van Rooijen can mentally torment to get the performance he desires, much like Hitchcock did to actress Tippi Hedren, whose story was sensationalized for the made for TV movie The Girl.
In case this story got you hungry for more remake news, director Steven Soderbergh has been busy in his "retirement" making a mash-up feature of both Hitchcock’s Psycho and Gus van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake. It’s quite an interesting project that sadly still has Vince Vaughn in it. You can find the whole video here, but check out the shower scene clip below. And probably stock up on bird feed in the meantime.