It’s been so long since we’d heard anything concrete about Platinum Dunes' plans to remake Alfred Hitchcock’s classic beaky chiller The Birds that we started to wonder whether it had contracted Avian Flu, kicked the development bucket, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible. But it would appear that re-imagined parrot is alive and squawking, as Variety reports that Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen will handle the megaphone.
Well, we say, “will”. We’ve been here before on the Birds front, with Martin Campbell previously attached to call the shots and Naomi Watts linked with the lead role in the past. Neither is still involved.
Universal and the Platinum Dunes team are, somewhat sensibly, making it clear that this redo will owe more to Daphne du Maurier’s short story than Hitchcock’s film, though the plot is still largely a secret, with Jonathan Herman’s script guarded in a safe by two seagulls with a bad attitude and an M16 between them. What we do know is this: if it is made, birds will attack, people will scream and everyone will walk out of cinemas eyeing our feathered friends with more suspicion. Hopefully they won’t try to invent some spurious environmental reason for the madness. After all, as Hitch realised, less can be more.
As for Van Rooijen, he’s mostly known for TV series Penoza, which US telly remade as Red Widow and big screen thriller Taped, itself currently grinding through the re-imagination factory at Sony.