Back in March came the news that Paramount Pictures was planning to remake Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 thriller “Vertigo”, which will star and be produced by former “Iron Man” star Robert Downey, Jr.
Downey would play the James Stewart lead role of a former police detective forced to retire after a line of duty trauma leaves him with intense acrophobia (fear of heights). He is soon hired by an acquaintance to shadow his wife (Kim Novak), who he feels is behaving erratically.
“Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight is penning the script while John Davis and John Fox are producing alongside Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan Downey. The project is seen as risky. Remember Gus Van Sant’s ill-advised “Psycho” remake in 1998?
Speaking in a recent interview with The New York Times magazine, the actor says his hobby as rock-climbing enthusiast are partly behind his desire for a new take on the film:
“We are certainly looking into it. You know why? God bless. I’ll tell you why. I have been rock climbing before and gotten stuck in that panic freeze, and if not for the sheer embarrassment, I would have asked to have been hoisted off that rock. I lost my confidence in my positioning, the drop was too far, and my body reacted. It wasn’t fight-or-flight; it was freeze-and-about-to-faint.
I’ll never forget it, and it made me think there are cinematic devices that have yet to be fully utilized that I think would provide an experience in trying to say, ‘What does it feel like to be psychologically silly with fear over something that should be manageable?’ That might be entertaining.”
“Vertigo” is often considered one of the greatest movies of all time, and even topped the famous Sight & Sound poll in 2012, beating out the long-standing champion “Citizen Kane”. It was supplanted in 2022 by Chantal Akerman’s 1975 film “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles”.