Jessica Biel has joined the cast of the new film "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho,'" which also stars Scarlett Johansson and Oscar winners Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Helen Mirren.
Biel, 30, will play Vera Miles, an actress who portrayed Lila in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror movie "Psycho," known for its iconic naked shower scene, and in its 1983 sequel. Lila is the sister of main character Marion Crane. She was originally played by Janet Leigh. Johansson will play the part of the actress in the new movie, it was announced earlier this month.
"Jessica Biel will surprise moviegoers playing Vera Miles in the film based upon ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND THE MAKING OF PSYCHO," said a message posted on the movie's Facebook page on Wednesday, March 21. "And, we repeat, it is NOT a documentary. It is NOT a remake."
Biel rose to fame with the series "7th Heaven." The actress, who has since become a sex symbol, recently filmed a reboot of the 1990 sci-fi film "Total Recall."
Miles, 81, is a former Miss Kansas who was born Vera Ralston. She retired in the mid-1990s and lives in California. She has starred in several of Hitchcock's projects.
For years, she was under a personal contract with the director, who instructed producers who worked with her on the 1957 Bob Hope movie "Beau James," not to release photographs of her in color or be pictured with her husband and children. Miles has been married and divorced three times.
Hopkins has been cast as Hitchcock himself, while Mirren will play his wife, Alma. James D'Arcy will play Leigh's co-star, Anthony Perkins, who played murderer Norman Bates in the original film.
"United States of Tara" star Toni Collette is in talks to play Peggy Robertson, Hitchcock's longtime assistant, Variety reported.
The publication added that other stars set to join the cast include Danny Huston, who is up for the role of Whitfield Cook, a friend of the director's wife; Michael Stuhlbarg, who will play Hitchcock's agent and friend, Lew Wasserman, and Michael Wincott, who is up for the part of Ed Gein, the serial killer who inspired the original story.
"Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho" is touted as a biographical comedy-drama that presents a behind-the-scenes look at the film, which was marred with controversy due to complaints about violence, nudity and other sexual content and claims that a body double was used in Leigh's place during the shower murder scene.
"It was me the whole time in that shower except for the time when he's wrapping the body in the shower curtain," Leigh told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper months before she died at age 77 in 2004.
The movie is tentatively set for release in 2013 and will be directed by Sacha Gervasi, a former documentary filmmaker who co-wrote the films "Henry's Crime" and "The Terminal."
The script is based on a 1990 book by Stephen Rebello, who also serves as executive producer, and was co-written by John J. McLaughlin, who co-penned the 2010 thriller "Black Swan."
Hitchcock died at age 80 in 1980. He and Leigh were nominated for Oscars for "Psycho," which earned four Academy Award nods. Perkins died at age 60 in 1992.