The birds are back in town!
The BBC and producer David Heyman are bringing Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1963 horror film The Birds to TV. The contemporary drama adaptation will draw from the source material, a novelette written in 1952 by Daphne du Maurier.
Hitchcock’s version marked Tippi Hedren’s feature film debut. She played the role of San Francisco socialite Melanie Daniels, who, on a lark, follows her boyfriend to a small community that is being attacked by flocks of birds. At one point, producer Michael Bay was in talks to develop a remake of The Birds, but the project failed to take flight.
This isn’t the first time a Hitchcock film has been remade; there have been many such projects, which had varying levels of success. The 1954 film Rear Window was remade into a 1998 TV movie of the same name, but critics and fans didn’t really give a hoot about it.
And in 2007, the Shia LaBeouf film Disturbia also paid homage to Rear Window, updating the wheelchair and leg cast to a more high-tech electronic ankle bracelet.
Even The Simpsons got in on the action, with a Season 6 episode titled “Bart of Darkness.” And Hitchcock fans cried foul when Gus Van Sant remade 1960’s Psycho, but didn’t end up changing or adding enough to make the new film’s existence seem worth it.
Perhaps the most successful Hitchcock update was Bates Motel, the 2013 prequel and reimagining of Psycho that ran for five seasons on A&E. The show was the network’s longest-running original scripted drama series, and was nominated for a slew of awards.
Only time will tell whether this TV adaptation of The Birds soars to success or ends up being for the birds.
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