Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020: #31. Rebecca – Ben Wheatley
A decade into feature filmmaking and Ben Wheatley has taken it upon himself to remake Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 classic Rebecca, which won the Best Picture Oscar and was adapted from the seminal novel by Daphne du Maurier. The US/UK production is a Netflix property, with a script from Jane Goldman (a Kingsman and X-Men scribe), with writing credits attributed to duo Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel (who together penned the 2010 Halle Berry DID drama Frankie & Alice, the 2016 Jesse Owens drama Race and both this year’s The Aftermath and Seberg). Produced by Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, Wheatley has assembled a curious cast with Armie Hammer (who starred in Wheatley’s 2016 title Free Fire) taking over as Maxim de Winter and Lily James (Cinderella; Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) as his new, troubled wife. With Kristin Scott Thomas in tow as Mrs. Danvers, the supporting cast also includes Ann Dowd, Sam Riley (Free Fire) and Keeley Hawes. A celebrated genre enthusiast, Wheatley has been a fan favorite since early titles Down Terrace (2009) and Kill List (2011). He competed in Karlovy Vary with the hallucinogenic A Field in England (2013) and premiered Sightseers in Locarno. Toronto has long been a proponent of Wheatley, and his 2015 High-Rise competed in Platform.
Gist: A young newlywed finds herself in a troubling predicament once arriving at her wealthy husband’s estate of Manderlay, where the memory of his previous wife, Rebecca, is on everyone’s mind.
Release Date/Prediction: With no end in sight for the Cannes/Netflix impasse, we assume this remake will be vying for a slot in Venice/TIFF 2020.