Lily James, Armie Hammer to lead new Rebecca adaptation
Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again…
Working Title and Netflix are heading back to Manderley with a new adaptation of Rebecca, the 1938 Daphne du Maurier gothic thriller. The novel has never gone out of print, and it was adapted into a Best Picture-winning film starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier in 1940.
EW can confirm that Working Title and Netflix are returning to du Maurier’s classic and will be adapting it from a script by Jane Goldman (Kingsman) with British director Ben Wheatley (High Rise) at the helm.
Lily James is attached to star as the second Mrs. de Winter; the novel is told from her first-person perspective and we never learn her first name. Armie Hammer is also onboard to portray Maxim de Winter, the novel’s brooding Gothic hero, originally played by Laurence Olivier.
Rebecca follows a young woman who comes to live with her new wealthy husband in his estate on the coast of England and finds herself struggling to fight against the legacy of Maxim’s first wife, Rebecca, a mysterious and beautiful woman whose influence continues to haunt the house and its denizens.
The original 1940 film not only won legendary producer David O. Selznick a best picture Oscar, but it also marked Alfred Hitchcock’s only Academy Award nomination. The film was nominated for 11 Oscars, including acting nods for Fontaine, Olivier, and Judith Anderson as the obsessive housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. It only won two — best picture and best black and white cinematography.
Further details including additional casting and potential release date are still to be announced.