The Gone Girl team of director David Fincher, screenwriter Gillian Flynn and actor Ben Affleck have already set their sights on their next project: Strangers, a modern take on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 suspense classic Strangers on a Train, according to Deadline.
In the Hitchcock original, the plot revolves a murder pact between a tennis star (played by Farley Granger) and the titular stranger on a train (portrayed by Robert Walker). Aboard, they devise a plan to kill the source of each other’s problems – the tennis star’s ex-wife, the stranger’s father – while establishing an alibi and leaving a wake of motiveless murder. The “plan” was just the tennis star humoring the stranger – but that doesn’t stop Walker’s character from killing the ex-wife and demanding Granger’s straight-laced guy fulfill their deal.
In the planned contemporary remake, Granger’s tennis player will be transformed into a movie star whose private plane breaks down during an Oscar campaign, forcing him to hop on board another jet owned by a wealthy stranger. Deadline reports that Affleck will play the role of the movie star in the film, which is an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel.
However, this being Hollywood and Hitchcock, just because a film has been announced doesn’t mean it will be made. A planned reboot of The Birds starring Naomi Watts had languished since it was first announced in 2007 before Michael Bay took the reins this past summer.
Also, when a Hitchcock remake is finally greenlighted, the results don’t always approximate the original: Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot Psycho, Doug Liman’s high-octane Mr. and Mrs. Smith and the Rear Window retread Disturbia are among the films that failed to reach the high bar set by the Master of Suspense.