Robert Downey Jr. Might Star in Paramount's Remake of Legendary Classic Film

Robert Downey Jr. might star in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo for Paramount Pictures. The studio reportedly acquired remake rights to the 1958 film, considered one of the best ever made. Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight will write the script.

Downey is "eyeing" the lead role of John "Scottie" Ferguson, a former police detective forced to retire after trauma left him with acrophobia and vertigo. James Stewart played the part in the original film. John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment will produce with Downey and his wife, Susan Downey, of Team Downey, reports Deadline. Paramount distributed Vertigo, and the Hitchcock estate preferred the remake be made there.

Vertigo was written by Alec Coppel and Samuel Taylor, from the 1954 novel D'entre les morts by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. The San Francisco-set story begins with Scottie retiring from the police force after he watches a fellow police officer fall to his death. A short time later, he is hired by a college acquaintance, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore) to follow his wife, Madeline (Kim Novak), who is behaving strangely. Over the course of the film, Scottie develops a disturbing obsession with Madeline and even forces another woman (also played by Novak) to dress and act like her after she dies. Meanwhile, Scott's long-suffering ex-fiance Marjorie "Midge" Wood (Barbara Bel Geddes) is the only one he can talk to.

Critics and film historians consider Vertigo one of the greatest ever made, so trying to remake it is a tall task. The film replaced Citizen Kane as the greatest film ever made in the 2012 Sight & Sound Greatest films of All Time poll and was number two on the 2022 list. It was also one of the first 25 movies selected for the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

This is also the second major project Knight has been attached to this week. He was also hired to work on an untitled Star Wars movie that Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson were working on. Lindelof and Britt-Gibson's departure was reported earlier this week. Variety reported Knight's hiring on Wednesday. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel) is still attached to direct. Lucasfilm and Disney are expected to share more details at Star Wars Celebration in London next month.

Downey recently filmed Park Chan-wook's The Sympathizer limited series for A24 and HBO. Team Downey is also producing Perry Mason Season 2 for HBO. Downey hasn't starred in a movie since 2020's Dolittle, but he did appear in and produce Netflix's "Sr.", a documentary about his late father, experimental filmmaker Robert Downey Sr.