Universal developing Night of the Hunter remake
Universal Pictures is diving back in time as they have begun development on a new adaptation of the Davis Grubb thriller novel The Night of the Hunter, which was previously adapted in to the 1955 Robert Mitchum-led classic, according to Variety.
The novel, published in 1953, follows murderous ex-con Harry Powell in the American South in the Great Depression as he is released from prison and presents himself as a chaplain to the world. He seduces and marries a widow, whose recently dead husband hid $10,000 from the police following a bank robbery, and kills her and hunts her children in an attempt to find the location of the stolen money.
The new adaptation of the novel will be penned by Matt Orton, with expectations that it will update the story to a contemporary setting versus a period piece. Orton most recently wrote the historical thriller Operation Finale led by Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) and Ben Kingsley (Night Hunter) and is currently attached to a Disney+ live-action family adventure entitled Knights. Amy Pascal (Spider-Man: Far From Home) and Peter Gethers are attached to produce, with the former doing so through her Universal Pictures based banner Pascal Pictures.
The 1955 adaptation starred Mitchum (El Dorado) in the lead role alongside Shelley Winters (Pete’s Dragon), Lillian Gish (Duel in the Sun), Billy Chapin (The Kid From Left Field) and James Gleason (Here Comes Mr. Jordan) and was directed by Charles Laughton (Spartacus). At the time of its release, it received very mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike for its controversial storytelling and darker themes but has since gone on to be considered a classic, currently maintaining a 98% “Certified Fresh” rating from critics on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes.