'Birds' redo calls Campbell as director


Martin Campbell is circling to direct the re-imagining of the Alfred Hitchcock classic "The Birds," which Platinum Dunes and Mandalay Pictures are producing for Universal.

Naomi Watts has been loosely attached to star for some time, but her involvement is script dependent.

While Campbell has no offer to direct, the early talks put the potential movie's production dates past any possible directors and actors strike.

Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are producing via Platinum Dunes, while Peter Guber and Cathy Schulman are producing via Mandalay Pictures.

"The Birds," released by Universal in 1963, featured an attack by birds on the California coastal town of Bodega Bay. Coming after "Psycho," Hitchcock's innovative use of special effects and sounds continued to cement his reputation as a horror director and launched many "nature on the attack" imitators. The movie also featured the screen debut of the director's newest ingenue, Tippi Hedren.

The studio says the redo will owe more to the Daphne du Maurier short story than the Hitchcock film based on it.

Scott Bernstein is overseeing for Universal. Exec vps production David Zelon and Jonathan Krauss will oversee for Mandalay.

CAA-repped Campbell last directed "Casino Royale." His credits include "Beyond Borders," "The Mask of Zorro" and "GoldenEye."