Yesterday, it was announced that veteran writer Steven Knight (“Spencer,” “Eastern Promises“) would be joining the next untitled “Star Wars” film to help prepare a script ahead of the sci-fi adventure movie’s eventual production. Now there’s even more news about Knight’s upcoming film projects, and the latest one announced by Deadline is certainly a doozy for fans of classic thrillers.
Knight is set to write a remake of Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Vertigo” with Jimmy Stewart, a reunion after the pair worked together on the hit, “Rear Widow.” Hitchcock’s 1958 film adapts a 1954 French novel penned by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Now Knight will apparently adapt both. Paramount Pictures picked up the project, partnering with Davis Entertainment, with Robert Downey Jr. eyed as the film’s lead. The actor will also join the producing team via Team Downey. A director has yet to be named, but expect some big names to eventually be announced for supporting roles, too, especially for Kim Novak‘s female lead.
Downey Jr.’s character will be John “Scottie” Ferguson, a former police detective forced to retire after a traumatic incident on the job leaves him with a psychically debilitating fear of heights and vertigo. After he leaves the force, an acquaintance hires Scottie to shadow his wife to discover why she’s behaving so erratically.
It’s no surprise that Downey Jr. has interested in a “Vertigo” remake given that he’s a producer behind the HBO‘s “Perry Mason” revival series. Downey Jr. is also attached to star in director Shane Black‘s (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang“) latest incarnation of “Point Blank“ in the grizzled role of wronged crook, Parker, who’s out for revenge after his partners left him for dead taking his share of the loot with them. Lee Marvin played Parker in John Boorman’s 1967 film, but 1999’s “Payback” also adapts the same Parker novel from David E. Westlake (writing under his pen name Richard Stark).
But is a remake of a classic Hitchcock film a good idea? It’s easy to balk at someone trying to remake Hitchcock’s beloved material after the disastrous “Psycho” remake helmed by Gus Van Sant from 1998 and the David Fincher/Gillian Flynn remake of 1951’s “Strangers On A Train“ that had Ben Affleck attached to star (after the trio had success with “Gone Girl“) before it landed in development hell. However, one never knows if a new take might be a competent one until there’s eyes on the project.