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Dreamworks is no stranger to remaking Alfred Hitchcock's best work. In 2007 the studio hired director D.J. Caruso to helm Disturbia, a modern-day redo of Rear Window starring Shia LaBeouf, Carrie-Anne Moss and David Morse. Now they are at it again, but this time they are tackling the only movie from Hitchcock's career to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
According to Variety, Dreamworks is now teaming up with Working Title to remake Rebecca, Hitchcock's thriller from 1940 starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. The companies have already hired writer Steven Knight to work on the project. Whether or not it will be a straight remake is unclear, as Knight will apparently be going back to Daphne Du Maurier's novel on which the original film was based. Knight's previous work includes David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises, Michael Apted's Amazing Grace and Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things, which earned him an Oscar nomination. The writer is currently working on an adaptation of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol.
The story is about an unnamed young woman who falls in love with and marries a rich widower named Max. While his wife, Rebecca, died the year before, upon moving into his mansion she learns that Rebecca still has a strong hold over Max and his servants.
There have been other Hitchcock remakes done before, such as Dial M For Murder (turned into A Perfect Murder) and Psycho (remade shot-for-shot by Gus Van Sant), so this isn't exactly a new idea. But still, it's hard to grasp the idea of any filmmaker or studio thinking that they can do Hitchcock better than Hitchcock could. Knight is a talented writer, but we'll have to wait and see if he can do this right.