New “Hitchcock” Trailer Delves Into Dark, Private Life of Famed Director

First look at Anthony Hopkins/Helen Mirren film heralds season of Hitchcock biopics - on screens big and small.

The highly anticipated trailer for the new film "Hitchcock" debuted Wednesday, featuring Anthony Hopkins as the titular character and Helen Mirren as his wife Alma.

The Searchlight film (opening Nov. 23) draws back the curtain on the period leading up to and including the filming of Hitchcock's most famous film, "Psycho." And according to the trailer, what went on behind the scenes is as fascinating as what ended up shocking and thrilling audiences in cinemas around the world. 

The trailer shows Hitchcock (a near unrecognizable Hopkins) having to mortgage his own house to finance the film, and that it was his wife who came up with the idea to kill off Janet Leigh's character so early in the piece. Scarlett Johansson takes on the role of Leigh in the film, alongside a supporting cast that includes Jessica Biel, Toni Collette, Danny Huston and James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins.

 The Hopkins/Mirren version comes on the heels of HBO's "The Girl," another Hitchcock-focused biopic with Toby Jones playing the iconic english director. "The Girl" traces the relationship between the master of suspense and Tippi Hedren, star of his film, "The Birds."

An unknown fashion model before being cast in the 1963 thriller, it was viewed as Hedren's big Hollywood break. Hitchcock brought her to Universal Studios and offered her a seven year contract. But it was his obsessive relationship with the actress (played here by Sienna Miller) that anchors the film, a relationship Hedren says eventually went south when she tried to get out of her contract.

Hedren has spoken publicly about her view that Hitchcock kept her locked in her contract - thereby stopping her career due to an inability to work with other studios - because she refused his sexual advances. In the trailer for "The Girl," he is portrayed as a vindictive, controlling figure bent on achieving his desires - both on film and off.

"I don't know what to call it. It was something I'd never experienced before," Hedren told Yahoo News. "It wasn't love. When you love someone, you treat them well. We are dealing with a mind here that is incomprehensible. And I certainly am not capable of discerning what was going through his mind or why. I certainly gave no indication that I was ever interested in a relationship with him."

 "The Girl" premieres Oct. 20 on HBO.

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