Universal Pictures is mounting a remake of the 1955 classic The Night of the Hunter and has hired Operation Finale scribe Matt Orton to write the script, according to Variety.

Orton will adapt the 1953 novel by Davis Grubb, and the story will updated for modern audiences. Amy Pascal will produce via her Pascal Pictures along with Peter Gethers, while Universal’s Jay Polidoro will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.


Directed by Charles Laughton, The Night of the Hunter starred Robert Mitchum as Reverend Harry Powell, a misogynistic serial killer whose former cellmate made off with $10,000 following a bank robbery.

The bank robber is executed, and when Powell gets out of jail, he sets out to find the man’s widow so he can steal the money from her and her young children, who know where it’s hidden. Once Powell reveals his sinister intentions, an all-night standoff ensues.


Of course, before casting begins, the studio will have to find a director. Just like I did with the hypothetical Tiger King movie, I’d suggest David Gordon Green, but then again, he already tackled this kind of material in his 2004 film Undertow, which drew comparisons to Night of the Hunter, so he’s out. A female filmmaker would be interesting for this project — perhaps someone like Jennifer Kent, whose most recent film, The Nightingale, was a terrifying masterpiece.