During the filming of Rebecca, Ben Wheatly, the director, worked for three people. The whole film run in a pretty balanced fashion though until the end of the movie, which is known for its notable choices.
The present version of Rebecca made some changes in the end that involves the fate of Mrs. Danvers. Ben discussed the reason behind such changes with entertainment weekly.
While giving an explanation for why the present version of the story featured an alternate ending for Mrs. Danvers, Wheatly said, “Her understanding of what happened to Rebecca is that she drowns. So, she joins her in the sea. And that made sense to me… Because Danvers was so indelible in the film, and in the script, you need to say goodbye to her.
[It] gave us an opportunity for her to put the cap on the whole film and just go, ‘Come on, these are the facts. Who’s with me? And if you’re not with me, I’m going to say goodbye to you and leave the movie under my own steam.”
In addition to a little more suspense, Wheatly said that maybe Mrs. Danvers is not dead at all. Here’s what he said, “There’s a possibility she’s not dead either. She’s obviously not dead for the second Mrs. de Winter, because she haunts her in her dreams forever. That thing of her disappearing into the murk, it’s like, ‘Is it real or is it not?’”
The director also added, “There’s one reading of it, which is, ‘Oh, it’s so romantic. But it’s not romantic in many ways because she knows his nature. She knows what he’s done. And they’ve both decided to cover that up. It’s bittersweet really.”
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