BBC Planning Adaptation of Hitchcock's The Birds

The UK's BBC is reportedly planning a TV version of Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie The BirdsAlthough this would seemingly trump the long-delayed intended remake from Platinum Dunes, the project will be based more on the original 1952 novelette by author Daphne du Maurier.

Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film version of The Birds has been long regarded as one of his most accomplished and chilling movies. It transplanted the original story from the UK to the isolated area of Bodega Bay in California, and depicted the ruthless mass attack of differing species of birds on the humans residing there. The film was so iconic that it regularly tops lists for the best Hitchcock movies and also the best horror movies of the '60s. Rumors of a remake (usually with Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes attached) has periodically surfaced, with the most recent news tapping Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen to helm the film in 2014. However apart from a lackluster TV-movie "sequel" in 1994 called Birds II: Land's End, which was directed by an uncredited Rick Rosenthal (Smallville), there's been no other production associated with the film or source material that has landed anywhere near a TV or theater screen.

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But now, it's been reported by Digital Spy that a remake of The Birds is currently being developed by the UK's BBC as a TV drama. It's being produced by Heyday Television, which is the joint venture of feature producer David Heyman (Harry Potter, Gravity) and NBCUniversal International Studios, and will be written by Irish playwright and writer Conor McPherson. McPherson was (perhaps appropriately) once tapped to be writing the draft for the screen version of Artemis Fowl, and he also adapted the novella as a stage play in 2009, meaning that he has plenty of experience with the source material.

The Birds

However, those looking forward to seeing an modern-day story set in California, with updated versions of  the Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren characters are likely to be surprised. The production will apparently remain true to the original '50s narrative and be set in the picturesque UK county of  Cornwall, where it's a farming community that's being terrorised by flocks of the vicious avian villains.

Beyond those details, there's no additional information regarding any actors involved so far, or an expected screening date. Neither is there any indication as to the BBC's global distribution of the production - but given the link to such a marketable film it would be very surprising if this doesn't occur early in development, especially with the overseas success of shows like Poldark.  In the meantime, we'll bring you more news about this TV version of The Birds as we receive it.

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Source: Digital Spy

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