Matt Orton (“Operation Finale”) is penning the script. Though little is known about the new project, it is expected to be a contemporary version of the original thriller, rather than a period piece.
“The Night of the Hunter” follows a religious fanatic, con man and murderer who marries a widow, knowing that her deceased husband had hid $10,000 from authorities following a bank robbery. The widow’s young children are reluctant to tell him where their real dad hid the money as the man plots more sinister ways to find where to find the cash. The 1955 version, starring Robert Mitchum, was considered controversial at the time, given dark themes including Mitchum’s character preying on young children.
Peter Gethers will produce alongside Amy Pascal, who will produce through her Universal-based Pascal Pictures. Universal’s senior VP of production Jay Polidoro will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
Though productions across town have been shutdown indefinitely, studios are still working on adding projects to their development slates, especially when it comes to setting writers and directors to developing IP.
Orton previously wrote 2018’s “Operation Finale,” a historical drama starring Oscar Isaac and Sir Ben Kingsley. Since then, Orton has written “Battle of Britain” and is currently working on “Knights,” a live action family film for Disney Plus.