People have always been appalled that Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes Productions wants to remake Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Birds. They were appalled by the notion when Variety first reported it six and a half years ago, and they’re probably equally appalled by today’s announcement, which basically states the same intention except with Diederik Van Rooijen to direct and Peter Guber‘s Mandalay Pictures partnered to produce with Bay’s company.

Keep in mind what I wrote back in October 2007: “People have forgotten (or don’t want to acknowledge) what a stiff, stilted and unnatural film Hitchcock’s The Birds really is. The first 30 to 40 minutes are pretty close to horrible. The child actors are detestable. It only takes off with the swallow attack on the house, Jessica Tandy‘s discovery of the farmer with the pecked-out eyes, the attack on the school, the legendary cafe scene (‘It’s the end of the world!’) and then the attic attack on Hedren. In short, it really could stand a remake, or some kind of ‘reimagining.'”

Naomi Watts was attached to this project in ’06 and ’07 but is now presumably off and gone and never to return.

If and when the new Birds comes to pass it will almost certainly be universally trashed for vulgarizing Hitchcock’s 1963 original and degrading a classic experience into a conventional CG-driven horror film. It will probably also make a fair amount of coin.

The bottom line is that the original is definitely not a great film, but an austere, oddly fake-feeling thing — sterile, studio-coated, lifeless — with a thoroughly bloodless performance by poor, put-upon Tippi Hedren. It stands out for the set pieces parts that work, of course, and for the general tone of restraint, but it’s certainly improvable.