Last seen in the theater 62 years ago, author Daphne du Maurier’s novel My Cousin Rachel is returning to theaters next week in a new adaptation. Although the title may sound like a somber, pastoral story you might see from the likes of Jane Austen, get ready for a psychological thriller that could only come from the pen of the author of Rebecca and The Birds. Film adaptations of both of those films would become thriller classics for director Alfred Hitchcock, with Rebecca as the 1941 Best Picture Academy Award winner. The original 1952 adaptation of My Cousin Rachel starred multiple Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Rachel, a beautiful Englishwoman believed to have murdered a man under her care. de Havilland’s sister, Oscar winner Joan Fontaine, had been nominated for an Oscar for Rebecca.
This time around Roger Michell (Hyde Park on Hudson, Notting Hill) wrote a new adaptation of du Maurier’s novel and directs the film. He cleverly cast an Oscar-winning Rachel for the role of Rachel–Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, The Mummy)–whose performance looks quite convincing in the first trailer released for the film. Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides, The Huntsman: Winter’s War) plays Rachel’s cousin, the role originally played by Richard Burton.
The overall look and feel from the film’s trailer is similar to other Gothic novels made into movies: dark, creepy, and mysterious, particularly in the romance between the two lead actors, like that found in Rebecca, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and more recently, Crimson Peak. Check out this trailer for My Cousin Rachel: