A couple months ago it was announced that Nikolaj Arcel would be directing a Dreamworks-produced remake of Hitchock’s classic Rebecca (1940). The original film was adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel, won two Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and is considered one of Hitchock’s greatest. Arcel is known for writing the first The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo screenplay as well as directing the recent critically-acclaimed A Royal Affair. With this kind of talent leading the movie, I present to you my thoughts on who should star in this creepy and intelligent thriller.
Elizabeth Olsen as Mrs. de Winter
Joan Fontaine was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of the second Mrs. de Winter, a sweet woman who falls in love with an aristocratic widow and marries him. Elizabeth Olsen has proven herself time and again to be a talented actress and she has the same mix of innocence and maturity that Fontaine did when she played this role.
Lee Pace as ’Maxim’ de Winter
Laurence Olivier was also nominated (Best Actor in a Leading Role) for this film. He played the mysterious Maxim de Winter, a man whose haunted past gets in the way of him living his life. Pace is the same age as Olivier was when he made this film and unlike some actors of his generation, he possess an intelligence and sophistication that’s needed for this role.
Helena Bonham-Carter as Mrs. Danvers
Judith Anderson played the original Mrs. Danvers, the de Winters’ creepy housekeeper who was obsessed with the former Mrs. de Winter and makes life extremely difficult for the latter one. Helena has established herself as an actress who can play a role and excels especially in those of scary and unusual characters. This would be a perfect opportunity for her to show off her skills once again.
I was going to continue casting other roles in this film but I realized that these are really the only three that matter. These three roles, brought to life beautifully in the 1940 film by Fontaine, Olivier, and Anderson, carry the entire film. If even one of them is miscast, it would upset the balance of the entire story. These are the actors that (along with Arcel) I think would bring us an amazing adaptation of one of Hitchcock’s greatest films.