EXCLUSIVE: Dreamworks has set Nikolaj Arcel to direct Rebecca, a remake of the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film. The picture, which has a script draft by Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight, is being produced by Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
Arcel is coming off A Royal Affair, a film that was Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, about the queen of an erratic king of Denmark who carries on with her husband’s private doctor in a dangerous affair. Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg also scripted the Swedish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Based on the Daphne Du Maurier novel, the original Rebecca focused on a naive young woman who marries a rich widower and moves into his mansion, only to discover that the memory of the first wife is maintaining a grip on her husband and the servants. It starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, and it won the Best Picture Oscar. Arcel and Heisterberg are also attached to helm and write an adaptation of the Don Winslow bestseller The Power Of The Dog, which is expected to be their next film. Rebecca would follow.
There will likely be one quick rewrite, but Arcel’s hire has young actresses already beginning to circle the film. Arcel is repped by WME and United Agents.