This week sees Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca premiere on Netflix.
Based on the classic romantic Gothic thriller, Netflix’s new movie stars Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name), Lily James (Downton Abbey), Kristin Scott Thomas (Four Weddings and a Funeral), and Keeley Hawes (The Durrells).
We couldn’t be any more excited and here are our guest writer Michelle Rowley‘s top 10 reasons why…
1. It’s Rebecca. Need we say more? Since its publication in 1938, this international bestseller has never been out of print, testament to the novel’s enduring ability to immerse readers in a haunting world of suspicion, tension and intrigue. Du Maurier’s tale of a young woman living in the shadow of her husband’s dead wife Rebecca, on his imposing Cornish estate, is a masterpiece in weaving horror, romance and psychological thriller into a multilayered story that continues to enthral readers today.
2. We’ve waited a long time. It’s been 80 years since Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 movie, starring Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. We’re ready for a new version and eager to see if it can be as chilling as Hitchcock’s.
3. It’s directed by Ben Wheatley. He’s an award-winning English director with experience of literary adaptation, his 2015 film High Rise saw him nominated for the CineLibri Award for Masterful Literary Adaptation and his 2016 film Free Fire won him a special mention in the thriller prize at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film. We think Rebecca’s in safe hands with this guy.
4. We get to go to Manderley. Okay, so we don’t actually get to go to the de Winter’s gothic pile in Cornwall, but we do get to see the real Cranmore Manor in Dorset as the location for this iconic literary house. Du Maurier made Mandeley its own character in her novel, right from her famous opening line ‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again’ and we can’t wait to see it brought to life on screen.
5. Kirsten Scott Thomas as Mrs Danvers. Arguably the creepiest character ever in British literature, Manderley’s forbidding and obsessed housekeeper, will be portrayed by an outstanding actress. We’re scared already.
6. Beautiful scenes from Monte Carlo. Since most of us probably haven’t been able to sit on a sunny beach in 2020, watching a romance develop in sunnier climes might just warm our hearts if nothing else.
7. Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter. With or without his dashing suits on, he’s very appealing. We can see why Lily James’ character agrees to marry him so quickly.
8. Lily James as the new Mrs de Winter. No stranger to a period drama, having had previous roles in Downton Abbey, War & Peace, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, we are excited to see her take on the character who is the voice of the novel. It’s through her eyes and mind we experience Manderley and its secrets.
9. Devon on screen. There’s more arm-chair travelling provided through scenes shot on the stunning coast at Hartland. The production crew filmed at the picturesque Hartland Quay in North Devon and we think it’s going to look great on screen.
Rebecca premieres exclusively on Netflix worldwide on Wednesday 21st October.
You can find our guest writer Michelle Rowley on Instagram here.
Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca is available on Amazon.