August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

STARRING Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Viggo Mortensen

DIRECTED BY Gus Van Sant

We can appreciate a vault-raiding remake just as much as the next guy. But c’mon. Psycho? Actually, Van Sant’s been trying to talk Universal into the idea for nearly a decade. But until he had the clout of Good Will Hunting under his belt, he might as well have been pitching a film version of The Satanic Verses. ”The thing I find questionable is remaking a bad film,” says Van Sant. ”Why not go to the good stuff and remake one that’s excellent?” Short answer: Diabolique. But the new Psycho comes with a risk-free $25 million price tag. And to help its chances at the box office, Van Sant tapped such easy-on-the-eyes stars as Swingers‘ Vaughn (as wiggily murderous mama’s boy Norman Bates) and Heche (as Janet Leigh’s on-the-lam bathing beauty). ”We chose Vince because we wanted someone who would take you off guard the way Tony Perkins did,” says producer Brian Grazer. ”Someone who’s very sweet and fragile, but slightly odd.” While Van Sant’s virtual shot-for-shot ”retelling” stuck to Hitchcock’s seven-week Psycho shooting schedule, there are still a few ’90s twists — the film is shot in color and includes an amped-up Danny Elfman version of Bernard Herrmann’s haunting score. (Dec. 4)

THE LOWDOWN Terrible idea. Can’t wait to see it.

type
Movie
mpaa
R
runtime
105 minutes
director
Cast
Robert Forster,
Philip Baker Hall,
Studio
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