Matt Orton to Write ‘Night of the Hunter’ Remake at Universal

Orton previously wrote “Operation Finale,” starring Oscar Isaac and Sir Ben Kingsley for MGM

Night of the Hunter

Matt Orton (“Operation Finale”) has been tapped to adapt the screenplay for Universal Pictures’ “The Night of the Hunter,” based on the novel by Davis Grubb.

Orton previously wrote “Operation Finale,” starring Oscar Isaac and Sir Ben Kingsley, which MGM released to excellent reviews and a strong performance at the box office in 2018. Since then, Orton has written “Battle of Britain,” which Ridley Scott will direct, and is currently writing the live-action family-adventure movie, “Knights,” for Disney.

The 1955 film directed by actor Charles Laughton (and the only film he ever directed), starred Robert Mitchum as a sublimely sinister traveling preacher turned serial killer named Harry Powell, who had tattooed knuckles and nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow played by Shelley Winters.  Powell plans to steal $10,000 hidden by her executed husband, and his motives are discovered by the widow’s terrified children.

In 1992, “The Night of the Hunter” was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Peter Gethers will produce alongside Amy Pascal (“Little Women”), who will produce through her Universal-based Pascal Pictures. Universal’s Senior Vice President of Production Jay Polidoro will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Variety first reported the news.