Few of Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary films have been touched, but Netflix is daring to break tradition with a remake of 1940’s Best Picture winner Rebecca. The psychological thriller is based on a classic novel by Daphne du Maurier, and brings Armie Hammer and Lily James together to play newlyweds haunted by the husband’s first wife.
Every actor has their own way of handling adaptations. Some like the distance from previous takes, while others thrive off the inspiration of earlier performances. Check out Armie Hammer’s hilarious take on crafting his own version of Maxim de Winter during his Rebecca interview with CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell:
The “Larry” he’s referencing here is, of course, the iconic Laurence Olivier, who was nominated for an Oscar for the role alongside Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson and Alfred Hitchcock among the film’s 11 nominations and two wins back in the day. Armie Hammer answered lightheartedly, but there’s certainly truth in his statement. How does one follow one of the most well-known early performances in cinema? You just don’t, and Hammer mindfully ignored it until after finishing up production.
Although 80 years have now passed since Alfred Hitchcock's version of Rebecca, Armie Hammer’s response certainly goes to show how coveted the original has remained since then. It’s just what happens when one of the most decorated filmmakers of all time has their name on something. 2020’s Rebecca remains a fairly tight adaptation to the novel that keeps its characters in the ‘30s and will attempt to captivate audiences in a fresh way.
Rebecca has debuted to overall mixed reviews from critics, with CinemaBlend’s review of the film echoing its overall consensus with a three-star rating. The movie was directed by High-Rise’s Ben Wheatley, and along with featuring Armie Hammer of The Man From U.N.C.L.E and the buzzy Cinderella actress Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas plays Mrs. Danvers, the overbearing and unsettling housekeeper.
Check out Armie Hammer talk about his approach to the Rebecca adaptation below for yourself:
You can also check out the entire exclusive CinemaBlend interview with Armie Hammer, Lily James, Kristen Scott Thomas and director Ben Wheatley, which has the cast and filmmaker talking more about the process of making the lavish remake that serves as a spooky addition to Halloween season and entertaining romantic drama to get wrapped into.
After Rebecca, Armie Hammer will be part of another remake of an iconic film. He’ll play the central role of Simon Doyle in the Agatha Christie adaptation Death on the Nile. Rebecca will start streaming on Netflix on October 21. Check out what else is new on Netflix this month with Netflix’s new October releases.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.