The English Patient. Mission: Impossible. Gosford Park. Tell No One. Darkest Hour. All of these acclaimed films have one performer in common: Oscar-nominated actress Kristin Scott Thomas, who exudes class, elegance, and power, elevating every film I’ve ever seen her in. Even her name has gravitas. And now Collider has learned that the English actress will bring her considerable talent to Ben Wheatley’s new adaptation of Rebecca, starring Armie Hammer and Lily James.
Netflix is teaming with powerhouse production company Working Title on the project, and while the streaming service is avoiding the dreaded “r” word (as in “remake”), Rebecca is based on the same Daphne du Maurier novel as Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1940 film of the same name starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.
Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class) wrote the script this time around, and it follows a newly-married young woman who visits her husband’s imposing family estate on a bleak English coast, where she finds herself battling the shadow of his dead first wife — the mysterious Rebecca — whose legacy continues to haunt the house.
Scott Thomas will play Hammer’s longtime housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who was played by Judith Anderson in the original film. It’s a juicy part for the actress, one that should, on paper, play to her strengths. Recall how good she was as Ryan Gosling‘s mother in Nicolas Winding Refn‘s otherwise disappointing thriller Only God Forgives, just one example of a film she elevated with her commitment to her character.
Working Title principals Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan will produce alongside Nira Park (Attack the Block), and production is slated to start this summer in the UK and France.
Thomas earned an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in The English Patient. Her more recent credits include Joe Wright‘s drama Darkest Hour and WB’s Tomb Raider reboot. She’ll soon be seen alongside Sharon Horgan in the drama Military Wives, and she’ll also appear in at least one episode of the second season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge‘s TV series Fleabag. She’s represented by CAA.
Wheatley is the acclaimed director of Kill List and Sightseers, as well as High-Rise and Free Fire. He has a unique style all his own, and seems a strong fit for this gothic romance tale, which is putting together quite the cast.