Paramount Pictures has reportedly acquired the rights to remake of Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic 1958 psychological thriller Vertigo as a possible starring vehicle for Robert Downey Jr. The actor is producing the project with his wife Susan Downey through their Team Downey production company, along with John Davis and John Fox via Davis Entertainment.
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, who recently signed on to pen an untitled Star Wars movie, is on board to write the script.
Downey has kept a low profile since his MCU exit in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, but this would be a big return. Remaking one of the most acclaimed films of all time comes with a lot of baggage, but also a lot of press.
The original film starred James Stewart as John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson, a San Francisco police detective who retires due to a paralyzing fear of heights brought on by a severe case of vertigo.
After he’s hired to tail an acquaintance’s wife, Madeleine, he becomes obsessed with her, but his fears renders him powerless to save her when she climbs the tower of a Spanish Mission and plunges to her death. And then things get truly strange.
There have been a handful of Hitchcock remakes over the years, one – The Man Who Knew Too Much – even by the man himself. Paramount will likely want to avoid the sort of reaction Gus Van Sant‘s 1998 shot-for-shot remake of Psycho received.
In all it’s a curious move, with the studio likely banking on Downey’s star power over the Vertigo name, which is an acclaimed film but not the sort of IP to bring audiences to the multiplex in droves without a big name attached. It will be interesting to track this one, especially who will sign on to direct.
Downey was recently seen in the documentary Sr. about his father, and his next film role will be in Christopher Nolan‘s Oppenheimer, which arrives in July.