TV & Movies

The Key Differences Between Netflix's Rebecca & The Hitchcock Film

There's more of an emphasis on it being a thriller this time around.

This fall, Netflix started releasing a spate of star studded original films. In September, Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland starred in the streaming platform's The Devil All The Time, earlier this month Eddie Redmayne led the cast of The Trial of the Chicago 7, and now Netflix is releasing Rebecca: a seductive thriller with Armie Hammer and Lily James. Rebecca is based on a 1938 Gothic novel by author Dame Daphne du Maurier and has already had the big screen treatment. In 1940, Hitchcock adapted Rebecca, winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards for the film.

This most recent adaptation of the novel tells the story of an unnamed young woman (Lily James) who impulsively marries a wealthy man by the name of Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) while on holiday. Everything is champagne and roses for the couple until the holiday ends and the young woman returns with Maxim to his estate where she learns more about Maxim's first wife, the titular Rebecca, and the mystery surrounding her death. As the young woman — who is only referred to as Mrs. de Winter — digs deeper to find out what that secret might be, she realizes she might not really know her husband at all.

The movie closely follows the plot of the novel, however there are a few key differences. In the book, Maxim is 42 and Mrs. de Winter is in her early 20s. But in the Netflix adaptation, Maxim is portrayed as 33 (Hammer's same age). And whereas Hitchcock's film and the original novel reveal the cause of Rebecca's death early on, the reboot keeps the audience guessing throughout.

If you're looking to learn more about Netflix's Rebecca and its relationship to du Maurier's novel, Netflix recently shared a featurette about Rebecca, sharing some insight from the filmmakers and stars on the process of adapting the book.