Once upon a time Daphne Du Maurier wrote a neat little short story about birds run amok called The Birds. In 1963 Alfred Hitchcock adapted the short story into a film starring Tippi Hedren. I saw it as a mere sprout when it was on a small screen, in other words, television and had nightmares. By today’s standards some corpses missing their eyeballs is pretty tame stuff, but gore was never Hitchcock’s M.O.
It then came to pass that Martin Campbell, Casino Royale, was to direct Naomi Watts in a remake. I wonder if she was set to revive the icy cool blond with the blond updo that seemed never to get frazzled on Tippi even as she fled screaming from flocks of belligerent birds. Or was she to be a more down to earth bird plagued heroine.
Campbell has now left the project and it looks like Watts has as well. But no one wants to just let the Birds fly the coop. According to Pajiba, Platinum Dunes is in talks with Dennis Iliades (The Last House on the Left, 2009) to see if they want to take over and try to get the project off the ground, help it take flight, make it soar, okay, sorry, got carried away.
If Iliades takes over the news is they want to go from a PG-13 The Birds to an R rated The Birds. Where Hitchcock did have some gore, he also had almost unbearable suspense as flocks of birds gathered on power lines. When would they strike? Would they strike? Some of those crows descendants are now lying their trade in Windex commercials.
Without Campbell there’s now speculation that Watts will leave the film. Never fear there’s always Scarlett Johansson who even more than Watts can play that bottle blond running for her life.
Personally, in my opinion, remaking a Hitchcock film is for the birds. Sorry, that was irresistible.
What do you think? Is the world in need of a new version of The Birds?