I had never read the book before. (Mainly because the only copy for sale at Borders, up until this year, was a paperback featuring red satin and "Rebecca" written in gold letters...like a cheap romance novel one buys from the grocery store. Once a brown-back copy appeared on the shelf, I snatched it up immediately.)
When I read the book, I knew where it would go. I knew what the ending was because of that film. I was disappointed the whole time because there was no suspension of belief. I had an intrinsic feeling all along that I knew exactly what was going to happen next. But you know...I still enjoyed the book. I was disappointed that so many things could not be said in the film that were said in the novel. That's they way of films sometimes...for all their visual dialogue, there are things that they miss! I am always in flux between the two.
However, I feel that I could capture the novel in film better than whoever did it in the first place. I think a real reader needs to write adaptations. Instead of the English majors shrinking in fear, we need to take charge of writing adaptations. We need to capture the spirit of the novel for these filmmakers.
Who adapted The Count of Monte Cristo? Alexandre Dumas would have died had he seen that film.
And what about the almost happy ending in Lawrence Olivier's Wuthering Heights?
What about the way that Gilbert went to war in the Anne of Green Gables movies? WHAT?!
Well, anyway. In my Rebecca, Maxim de Winter isn't a cold bitter man with a theatrical though passionate love. He is real and deep and brooding and suffering. (And that's not my Maxim, that's du Maurier's Maxim.) Heath Ledger could have been Maxim. The quiet, unnamed protagonist is simple and plain and ordinary, but must be played by a powerful actress, though not a beautiful one. Rebecca is Megan Fox: aloof, gorgeous, evil.
There, have fun filmmakers. Call me if you want me to write the script. I can do it in 6 weeks. I expect hefty compensation. Believe me. My writing this adaptation is critical for the film's success.