Variety keeps dropping little bits about the proposed remake/adaptation of The Birds. I put both terms because I’ve heard they’re planning to stay closer to Daphne du Maurier’s short story than to Hitchcock’s film, but it’s fairly obvious they’re also planning on the name recognition of the earlier film, so it’s sort of both. Here’s a quote from the newest bit of news:
â€œWe think we have a very contemporary take,â€ Schulman said. â€œIn the original, the birds just showed up, and it was kind of like, why are the birds here? This time, thereâ€™s a reason why theyâ€™re here and (people) have had something to do with it. Thereâ€™s an environmental slant to what could create nature fighting back.â€
THE WHOLE POINT OF THE BIRDS IS WE DON’T KNOW WHY THEY’RE ATTACKING. Aaaargh. I was just becoming reconciled to the idea of them remaking what I consider to be Hitchcock’s scariest movie and one the top five films he ever made. But this…oh, this changes everything. The very thing that makes The Birds scary is that it’s completely unexplained. We don’t know why the birds attack, neither the characters nor the world at large seem to have done anything to provoke them, the cessation of attacks is just as random as the attacks, and just as unquieting. It’s a brilliant film. If you give the attacks motivation, if you make them vengeful against mankind’s abuses of the environment, you have made just another creature feature with a left-wing moral. If there’s a moral to Hitchcock’s The Birds, it’s don’t be afraid to love other people, and take care of them when you do love them, because the world is a harsh place, and you’re going to need each other.
Of course, given my feelings on directorial authorship and creative licence, the filmmakers have every right to do that if they want. But they think it’s going to be better that way, and I’m saying they’re absolutely wrong about that.