Vertigo: remake of Hitchcock thriller set to star Robert Downey Jr

James Stewart in Vertigo
James Stewart in Vertigo. Photograph: Paramount Pictures/Allstar

Actor in talks to take on role made famous by James Stewart in remake written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight

A remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 thriller Vertigo is in the works with Robert Downey Jr “eyeing” the lead role.

According to Deadline, Paramount Pictures has given the film the go-ahead with the Iron Man star producing and potentially taking on the role of the obsessive detective made famous by James Stewart.

The script will come from Steven Knight, known for creating the hit BBC series Peaky Blinders. His film credits also include Spencer, Locke and Eastern Promises. The news comes just a day after Variety reported that Knight has been hired to write a new Star Wars movie after writers Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson left the project.

Vertigo, based on the French novel D’entre les morts, received mixed reviews upon release, with critics complaining about its length and pace but soon became one of Hitchcock’s most loved films. In Sight & Sound’s most recent poll of the greatest films ever made, it was at number two.

Previous remakes of the director’s work include Gus Van Sant’s 1998 Psycho, which received negative reviews but has since gained a loyal following, and in the same year, the Michael Douglas-led A Perfect Murder, a new take on Dial M for Murder.

Vertigo was previously remade in 1965 as Tamil-language thriller Kalangarai Vilakkam and provided inspiration for Brian de Palma’s 1976 film Obsession. Last year also saw a video game adaptation which the Guardian’s Malindy Hetfeld called “comically flat” in a one star review.

Downey Jr was most recently involved in Sr, a documentary about his father and will next be seen alongside Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. His production company Team Downey has also been behind HBO’s Perry Mason.

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