Netflix’s Rebecca Ending: Director Explains How He Adapted The Movie From The Book

Image Source: Netflix

Rebecca Ending: In making the movie Rebecca, Ben Wheatley, the director, seemingly had to satisfy three masters. One was Daphne du Maurier’s OG novel. The second was the Alfred Hitchcock adaptation.

And the third was giving the present-day audiences something new and special. Now that’s a difficult job, yet one specific part of the movie stands apart- the ending.

Spoilers Ahead!

In contrast to the source materials, Netflix’s Rebecca made two notable changes to the ending. That is, with the fate of  Mrs. Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas) and the future of Mrs. de Winter (Lily James) and Maxim (Armie Hammer).

The “Passing” Of Mrs. Danvers

As seen in the film, Mrs. Danvers is the one liable for setting Manderley ablaze. Yet, the way that she has a scene after the fire brought an enormous change in Rebecca.

In Daphne du Maurier’s book, it’s left vague whether she’s still on the grounds of the estate when it’s destroyed. While Hitchcock’s film shows that she stays in the mason to be killed in it.

Image Source: CinemaBlend

Ben Wheatley’s adaptation gives one last encounter between the new Mrs. de Winter and the head servant before the servant jumps off a cliff.

Clarifying why he went this new version of the story with Mrs. Danvers, Wheatley explains that the thought was to connect her destiny with Rebecca’s. For most of the film, it’s accepted that the previous Mrs. de Winter passed on suffocating after her boat overturned, and Danvers’ jump to the ocean is her approach to reconnect with the lady she cherished.

The “Romantic” Ending

As seen in the ending of Rebecca, the memory of Mrs. Danvers continues in Mrs. de Winter’s dreams. Other than that, things went pretty well for the protagonist and her husband. As narrated, they keep looking for a new sweet home, unquestionably confident in the choices she made. But was it really a happy ending?

Wheatley says there are two interpretations- First, in a romantic light; second, as ignorance is bliss view. The latter sounds more compelling because both of them consciously decided to cover the reality of what they’ve done.

Where to Watch

Rebbeca is exclusively available for streaming on Netflix.