Thanks to an ongoing trend of people watching Alfred Hitchock movies and deciding that they could probably do a much better job, there are numerous existing remakes of Hitchcock films and usually at least one or two more in development at any one time.
One planned remake that has been languishing in development hell for years is Universal’s re-imagining of The Birds. Originally set to star Naomi Watts with Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) directing, producer Brad Fuller later admitted that the film was not at the top of the priorities list for studio Platinum Dunes.
That was several years ago, however, and apparently Platinum Dunes isn’t ready to give up just yet. THR reports that Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen (Daylight) has signed on to direct the re-imagining of The Birds, using the most recent draft of the script by Jonathan Herman. Michael Bay and Andrew Form will produce alongside Fuller.
Many of Hitchcock’s films were based on short stories or novels – which explains why new versions pop up every once in a while – and The Birds is no exception. Daphne du Maurier, who also wrote the novel upon which Rebecca was based, penned the short story that inspired The Birds, and Universal has emphasized that the new version of the film will draw mainly from the source material rather than Hitchock’s treatment of it.
Some would argue that remaking a movie like The Birds is pointless and unnecessary, since the original version has stood the test of time so well. Others might say that we reached the zenith of evil bird movies with 2010’s Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and anything else would seem like a pale imitation.
Even with a director onboard we’re not going to hold our breath waiting for this version of The Birds to get off the ground, given how long it’s been gestating for. Van Rooijen is the third director to become attached to the project so far, but only time will tell if he’ll have better luck than Campbell or Dennis Iliadis.
We’ll keep you updated on The Birds as development continues.