One of the best directorial debuts of all-time, as well as his sole helming effort, Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter is a masterpiece of mood and madness, giving Robert Mitchum perhaps the best role of his career as serial killer Reverend Harry Powell. Now, as Hollywood is known to do, they want to recapture the magic for a remake.
Matt Orton, who scripted the Oscar Isaac-led drama Operation Finale, will write a contemporary version of the story for Universal Pictures, Variety reports. There are no additional details yet, but it’s a curious proposition as the original film wasn’t a hit upon its release with critics nor audiences, something rightfully reconsidered as holds up perfectly to this day. Hopefully, Orton has quite a fresh take and the right actor can step into Mitchum’s shoes for this retelling.
Not counting the numerous directors merely influenced by the film, the cinematographers that draw from Stanley Cortez’s lighting, and the actors that hold Mitchum’s performance as a shining example of the perfect villain, it was actually directly remade before, in 1991 Richard Chamberlain-led TV movie. The Night of the Hunter was also just added to Amazon Prime and is also available on The Criterion Collection.
See a trailer below.