Deadline are reporting that Slingshot Productions and our own beloved BBC are looking to co-produce a loose, teen-oriented reworking of Hitchcock’s brilliant “Strangers on a Train”. If you haven’t seen it (do so immediately), Strangers is about two men who meet on a train and in the course of talking discover that each has someone in their life who they would like to see “out of the way”. One of them strikes on the inspired idea of swapping murders, after which (as is par for the course with Hitchcock) it all starts to unravel, before building to a nail-biting climax.

The remake would be very loose and in fact the Hitchcock film (and the Patricia Highsmith novel on which it was based) are being treated as merely a jumping off point for a thriller about two teenagers who meet on a train, one of whom turns out to be a psychopath.

Part of the reason for so marked a departure from the notional source material seems to be the experience of the makers of Shia LaBeouf-starrer Disturbia, which was so clearly indebted to Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Although a judge recently ruled that Disturbia was sufficiently different from Rear Window to avoid losing a lawsuit issued by the estate of the author of the original story from which Hitchcock worked, this is clearly a case of once bitten, twice shy. Rather than go to the lengths of securing remake rights, the studios clearly prefer to make a looser adaptation and rely on the general familiarity of the story to grab the audience’s attention.

Perhaps what we will wind up with then, is something more akin to the spate of “home invasion” films of a few years ago (Unlawful Entry, Cape Fear, Ricochet, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle). “Before Sunrise” is also said to be an influence and although the “chance meeting” element can be said to be a common thread, I don’t recall Julie Delpy playing a raving lunatic.

The working title is currently “Teens on a Train” which is altogether quite hideous and will surely be ditched shortly. As this project develops, we’ll keep you posted.

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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.