It’s been revealed that British actor Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking a break from his superhero antics and working on the new remake of the classic film, The 39 Steps. This news comes to us from Deadline.
What’s interesting is the remake will take the shape of a limited short episodic series, and comes from critically acclaimed writer Mark L Smith who wrote The Revenant and Netflix’s Midnight Sky.
The 1935 original release was helmed by Alfred Hitchcock which was based upon the John Bucan novel of the same name from 1915.
The original The 39 Steps is a masterpiece
The original The 39 Steps was and is still considered today as Orson Wells coined it, “a masterpiece” and that’s also considered by critics and audiences alike. Out of four movie adaptations it’s the Hitchcock version that’s considered the best and the imperative version to watch and in 1999 the BFI voted it the four best British films of the century.
In 1935, Variety wrote that “International spy stories are most always good, and this is one of the best, smartly cut, with sufficient comedy relief”. The series will follow Richard Hannay as he returns back to England after years abroad, only to find a murder committed in his flat.
This coming a few days after being subject to a revelation around an international assassination plot. We’ll see Benedict Cumberbatch as Hannay go on the run in a thrilling escapade evading police and international foes alike as he rushes to solve the mystery, just what are the 39 steps?
Certainly, the role comes with its expectation and pressure to be as good if not better than its original counterpart.
The BBC tried to remake The 39 Steps back in 2008
The most recent attempt by the BBC in 2008 in a television film adaptation which starred Rupert Penry-Jones, and it was critically panned. In 1978, director Don Sharp brought another version to the screen which deviated from the Hitchcock version in a number of ways, from the meaning of the 39 steps, to the denouement’s Big Ben scene, but was a rousing success.
Using more source material, it received acclaims from the author John Buchan’s son, Lord Tweedsmuir and it was hugely popular at the box office in Britain.
All eyes will be upon German director Edward Berger, whom worked with Cumberbatch on Patrick Melrose as expectations mount on what has the potential to be an award winning production.
What do you make of this news? Are you looking forward to seeing this remake of The 39 Steps starring Benedict Cumberbatch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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