It seems that not even the best work of filmmaking legend Alfred Hitchcock is considered “hands off” anymore, as far as Hollywood is concerned. Sure, Dial M for Murder was remade back in the late 1990s (not to mention, Gus Van Sant’s peculiar shot-for-shot reworking of Psycho) but now studios are moving ahead with “new and improved” versions of Hitchcock films such as the Best Picture Oscar-winning Rebecca – and the Best Actress Oscar-winning Suspicion.
Paramount Pictures is behind the Suspicion remake, which the studio has tasked Emmy-nominee Veena Sud with scripting. However, there’s no word yet whether or not the co-showrunner of CBS’ Cold Case and AMC’s (acclaimed) The Killing TV series is also being eyed to direct the project.
Suspicion was directed by Hitchcock back in 1941. The film is a psychological romance/thriller which features Joan Fontaine (in an Academy Award-winning role) as Lina, an introverted young woman who comes from a wealthy family. She eventually falls for and marries Johnnie (Cary Grant), a handsome and carefree charmer, despite the disapproval of her family. However, Lina soon finds herself filled with – what else – suspicion, as strange events and Johnnie’s odd behavior seem to indicate that he’s secretly planning to murder Lina.
While Variety previously reported that the new film version of Rebecca is technically not a remake (rather, it’s a novel re-interpretation), the site seems to indicate that Sud’s new cinematic treatment of Suspicion will be more of a direct reworking of Hitchcock’s original film – and less a re-adaptaton of Francis Iles’ source material (the 1932 novel, “Before the Fact”).
Much like the Rebecca semi-remake, the retooling of Suspicion is being handled by an excellent screenwriting talent. The B-movie plot setup for the latter film is also somewhat conventional and not the sort of narrative that many people will immediately recognize as having been used previously in a Hitchock movie. At least, not to the degree that they tend to with the storylines for films such as, say, Rear Window – something which got Disturbia (which is basically an unofficial Rear Window “re-envisioning”) in trouble, back in 2007.
That said: those who have seen Hitchcock’s Suspicion (or, really, any Hitchcock film) are bound to be pretty annoyed by this news that contemporary studio executives think it’s possible to actually improve on the original feature made by the “Master of Suspense.” So, again, much like Rebecca, this flick has barely entered the early stages of development – and already it’s working against a heavy tide of skepticism.
We will nonetheless keep you up-to-date on the status of the new Suspicion (no pun) as the story develops.
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