Why Rebecca Needs to be Readapted

For the first time I am participating in Awesome Adaptations hosted by Picture Me Reading. Every week there is a new category to explore great adaptations of books to film. This week’s category is “Another Awesome Novel That Needs To Be Adapted.” After doing a lot of thinking, however, I wanted to focus on a novel that was adapted to the screen several years ago, but that I think could use a re-do, is the classic novel Rebecca.

rebecca-book&movieI read it in high school and probably need to re-read it, but I remember enjoying the suspense of it. Alfred Hitchcock adapted the book to a movie in 1940, and it was pretty good, as Hitchcock’s works typically are, but I think it is one of the few Hitchcock films that would benefit from a makeover by a more modern filmmaker (because I firmly believe that you just can’t duplicate Psycho or Rear Window). Here’s the synopsis from the IMDB movie pageWhen a naive young woman marries a rich widower and settles in his gigantic mansion, she finds the memory of the first wife maintaining a grip on her husband and the servants. So who would star in this version of Rebecca?

dewinters2Emma Stone and Jude Law, pictured above next to the originals just for comparison’s sake. The age gap between the wealthy widower Mr. and the young, naive Mrs. de Winter is supposed to be noticeable, and I believe the age difference between Jude Law and Emma Stone of 14 years feels about right for the story.

I think a director with a knack for suspense ought to be the one at the head of the project, but I have not decided who I would choose. I mulled over a few possibilities but I’m still not sure, as I don’t know what modern-day film to equate to the likes of Rebecca would be. Who do you think would be a great director for this film? And…

What do you think of a Rebecca re-adaptation? Which book are you most interested in seeing becoming adapted to film? 

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14 thoughts on “Why Rebecca Needs to be Readapted

  1. Not sure if you’ve heard, but you’re in luck – Rebecca is actually being readapted, and Danish director Nikolaj Arcel is attached to the project. I’m also of the opinion that Rebecca deserves a readaptation, and I also wrote a post about it. The Hitchcock film is a personal favorite of mine, but today’s filmmakers wouldn’t be confined by the production code as Hitchcock was. And I like your idea of Jude Law for Maxim!

  2. I think Jude Law is about right, but I’m not sure about Emma Stone. Carey Mulligan, maybe? But I actually think the Hitchcock picture is great the way it is. Now, My Cousin Rachel might need another look.

    • Carey Mulligan might be a good choice; the only thing I have seen her in is Pride and Prejudice. I have a lot harder time thinking of what girls should play roles vs guys. It is a good film, and I admit I have not seen it in a while, but I thought since it gets overlooked it might me be a good one to redo.

      • Check Carey out in An Education. Although she plays a fairly knowing schoolgirl in that movie, I think she could do innocent. She also looks very young. She’s an excellent actress.

  3. I love Hitchcock’s Rebecca. I’ve also just finished reading book…Joan Fontaine was so spot on as the second Mrs. de Winter.

    I don’t mind new adaptations, just that it would be compared with a Hitchcock. There was actually a newer Rebecca adaptation, a TV movie in 1997, I haven’t seen that one. It has Charles Dance as Maxim.

    I think Jude Law would be a fine Maxim too…or Clive Owen or Jeremy Northam?

    But I’m with WHATMEREAD, Emma Stone is a bit off I think…she’s so great in comedy though.

    Hmm, maybe Alicia Vikander, Mia Wasikowska or Saoirse Ronan as the second Mrs. de Winter?

    • I really enjoyed it too, but I don’t remember it having the same “wow” impact on me as the other movies of his I have seen. Of course, I saw Rebecca in high school, Psycho in college (in a film studies class), and Rear Window after college, so age could be playing a part in my appreciation for the film. I think someone might could make it about as good as the original, but it would really have to be the right person. And like I said, I’m not sure who that is!

      Clive Owen could be a good Maxim as well. I might be all wrong about Emma Stone, I just thought she looked the part and has played a decent range of parts. Even though I actually haven’t seen any of Saoirse Ronan’s movies I could see her doing it!

  4. I’ve neither read the book nor seen the movie, but I TOTALLY APPROVE of those casting ideas!!! Two of my favorite actors, omg. I would definitely see that remake. *_*

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