Keeley Hawes Joins Armie Hammer & Lily James In New Adaptation Of du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’

Keeley Hawes speaks onstage during the Netflix's "Bodyguard" screening & panel at Raleigh Studios
Rachel Murray / Getty Images

An award-winning, star-studded cast is coming together for a remake of the classic Daphne du Maurier novel, Rebecca. The last incarnation was made for British television with actors Charles Dance, Diana Rigg, and Emilia Fox, but this new production is for Netflix and is being produced by the production company, Working Title.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Keeley Hawes, star of Bodyguard and The Durrells of Corfu is the latest addition to the cast of Rebecca along with Ann Dowd from The Handmaid’s Tale, Sam Riley from Free Fire, and Ben Crompton from Game of Thrones.

They will be joining the core cast of Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, and Armie Hammer who are already in place to tell the gothic story of the young second wife of a gentleman who is visiting the coastal Devon family home of her husband which is full of reminders of his deceased first wife, Rebecca. Jane Goldman (upcoming Game of Thrones prequel) has adapted the classic Daphne du Maurier novel which will start shooting in June in the U.K. and France.

So far, IMDB has announced that Lily James (Lady Rose from Downton Abbey) will be playing the new Mrs. de Winter, Kristin Scott Thomas (Gosford Park and The English Patient) will be Mrs. Danvers, who knows the family secrets, and Armie Hammer will be Maxim de Winter, the widower of the manor.

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For fans of Daphne du Maurier, this is a dream cast, but those who are not familiar with her work and Rebecca might be tricked into thinking it is a romance, but it’s not. It’s closer to a psychological thriller, says Collider.

While some of the roles are being kept hush-hush, Sam Riley is now officially Rebecca’s cousin, Jack Favell, while “Dowd and Hawes have likely been cast as James’ boss and Hammer’s sister, respectively.” Crompton’s role is being kept under wraps, but looking at the characters in the original novel and other film adaptations, he will most likely play the de Winter estate manager.

As a result of Bodyguard on Netflix, Hawes has finally become a household name in the United States, and Dowd is thought to be one of the best character actors working today, having recently won an Emmy for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale. Rebecca on Netflix doesn’t have a release date at this time, but it is thought to be a miniseries rather than a film slated for some time in the spring of 2020.