The BBC will produce The Girl, a 90-minute TV drama about Alfred Hitchcock‘s creepily obsessive relationship with Tippi Hedren during the making of The Birds (’63) and Marnie (’64). Too-short Toby Jones will play Hitch and Sienna Miller will play Hedren.
Herdren was an early ’60s personification of the icy blonde type that Hitchcock always had a thing for, going back to Grace Kelly. (“There are hills in that thar gold,” he reportedly said upon spotting Kelly in a gold lame gown.) He spent much time and effort grooming Hedren into a big-name star (at least in his own Universal realm) but he also wanted…how to say it?…a little action on the side. Hedren, appalled, wouldn’t play along, and Hitch more or less smothered her career in revenge.
Julian Jarrold will direct the script by Gwyneth Hughes; Hitchcock biographer Donald Spoto will consult. Imelda Staunton will play Hitch’s wife, Alma. Penelope Wilton will play Hitch’s longtime assistant Peggy Robertson.
The BBC factor means this telepic will probably actually get made, which is more than you can say for that Birds remake, a Universal-related, Michael Bay-developed feature that was finally dumped or died of its own accord. Or Number 13, that young Alfred Hitchcock movie set in the 1920s London that was going to star Dan Fogler.
On the other hand Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, which has been in development hell at Paramount for four years (I read the script in ’08), has been adopted by Fox Searchight. Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren will play Hitch and wife Alma.