Armie Hammer and Lily James are lovers in this new image from Netflix's Rebecca

(Image credit: Netflix)

Get ready to return to Manderley – but not the house you know. While Alfred Hitcocks seminal version of Rebecca was certainly not the last adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel, it remains the one most cinephiles know. Ben Wheatley, however, hopes to change that with his Netflix adaptation.

“I feel like [Hitchcock’s] Rebecca is kind of a shared cultural memory everybody has. I felt like I’d seen it, and read it – but had I?” Wheatley tells Total Film while on the new movie's set. “My actual idea of it was a weird thing that I constructed in my head. That was one of the things that attracted me to the whole project. I felt like I’d been slightly wrongfooted by it. And when I read the script, I was totally taken in and was shocked by the turns of it. I thought I knew what it was and I was wrong. I thought, ‘Right, if it can catch me – and I think I’m reasonably cine-literate – then it’s something that can rise again.’”

We can’t go into what Wheatley initially misremembered about the film for fear of spoilers, but let’s just say, what the narrator thinks about the indomitable Rebecca isn’t necessarily all that it appears. “What I liked about the book is the kind of cheekiness of du Maurier, or the slyness of her,” chuckles Wheatley. “You think you’re buying into the romance, but then suddenly it becomes a psychological ghost story, and then a thriller.”

Lily James as a young woman who becomes the second Mrs. de Winter to a rich widower (Armie Hammer) and finds herself in jealous competition with the memory of his first spouse – the fabulous, beautiful, accomplished, beloved (and never seen) Rebecca. A literal Becky with the good hair. Below, find an exclusive image from the movie which features in the new issue of Total Film.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Hammer and James both discuss Rebecca at length in the new issue of Total Film magazine, when it hits shelves on this Friday, September 18. The magazine also features extended interviews with the cast of Black Widow. Rebecca reaches Netflix on October 21.

Check out the new covers of Total Film below; the one on the right is on its way to subscribers right now.

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(Image credit: Total Film)
Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.