Here are some new stills from Hitchcock, the movie starring Anthony Hopkins in the titular role and revolves around the director’s relationship with his wife, Alma Reville, during the making of Psycho. Scarlett Johansson will star as Janet Leigh, and it’s difficult to get a handle on how Scarlett will play this role because we’re only seeing a still. Certainly, ScarJo can’t be any worse than that time Jessica Alba tried to channel Janet Leigh in a Latina photoshoot. However, the first trailer (which shall certainly feature Scarlett in a prominent fashion) for the movie is expected to appear online sometime today, and if it does, I’ll update this post. In the meantime, here’s the the new poster for Hitchcock, and Jessica Biel looks absolutely ridiculous as Vera Miles. Also, here are some details on the film from Entertainment Weekly:
It might feel creepy to call a movie about the making of Psycho a “love story,” but that’s how Fox Searchlight and director Sacha Gervasi are pushing Hitchcock, which stars Anthony Hopkins as the iconic director and bevy of beauties as his leading ladies. Scarlett Johansson plays Janet Leigh, whose character Marion Crane has a date with the shower; Jessica Biel portrays Vera Miles, the level-headed heroine; and Helen Mirren is Hitch’s wife, Alma, his behind-the-scenes creative partner in every way. But the title of the film is not My Weekend With Janet or Hitchcock in Love. It’s simply Hitchcock, and for good reason. “Hitchcock’s so enigmatic in one sense,” says Gervasi, whose only previous feature was the 2008 documentary Anvil. “Someone who portrays zero emotion. We didn’t really know emotionally that much about Hitchcock, and suddenly you have this whole world that opens up when Anthony Hopkins plays the role. It’s extraordinary. And he really enjoyed tiptoeing up to people who had just arrived on the set and going, ‘Good evening.’ Making people jump. I think he really found the role quite delicious.”
The “love story” that might surprise — and hopefully enchant audiences — is Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife of 53 years. Of course, the director was notorious for obsessing over his much younger leading ladies, molding them to a certain degree. But according to the film, which is based on Stephen Rebello’s 1990 book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, Alma was his rock. “I think Alma accepts Hitch for exactly who he is and knows his idiosyncrasies and his crazy predilections,” says Gervasi. “She allows him to have his obsessions and I think our movie is about a point where they sort of escalate. Their marriage is absolutely touched off by his increasing obsessions with these women, but they were ultimately fantasy relationships. Hitch lived in this world of fantasy; to him it was more real than real life. And I think Alma was able to kind of, in this film at least, smash it down a little bit.”
Revisiting the classic genre-defining thriller was a total pinch-me experience for Gervasi, especially when he got to shoot the film-within-the-film scenes that are such a part of movie history. “The original script supervisor from Psycho named Marshall Schlom walked on to the set and he saw Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock directing the scene, and he got incredibly emotional,” says Gervasi. “He’s getting on in years and said, ‘Thank you for giving me my memories back.’ To see that was the ultimate satisfaction. I think that was when all of us, Tony included, started to think, ‘My God, this is something potentially very special.’”
I appreciate that they’re putting a different spin on the movie besides just a straight-up, behind-the-scenes view of Psycho‘s production. Helen Mirren will certainly bring the fire as Alma, and Hopkins loves playing deliciously weird roles like this one. Even Jessica Biel hasn’t dampened my interest in this film … yet.
Here are some more stills, including one of James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins.
Update: The trailer has materialized online! Mirren is absolutely great and moves through a wide range of cheeky emotion. Scarlett looks good, but she sounds exactly like herself when she speaks.
Photos courtesy of EW.com and Fox Searchlight