Ralph Macchio Is Not a Screenwriter; He Just Plays One in Gervasi’s ‘Hitchcock’

Ralph Macchio/Photo © Getty; Alfred Hitchcock/Photo via <a href=CC/Wikipedia " />
Ralph Macchio/Photo © Getty; Alfred Hitchcock/Photo via CC/Wikipedia

Ralph Macchio is the latest in a long list of actors to sign on for Sacha Gervasi’s biopic about Alfred Hitchcock. The movie, based on Stephen Rebello’s book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, until recently was using that as the working title and then changed it to the more succinct, “Hitchcock.” Macchio will play “Psycho” screenwriter Joseph Stefano, perhaps one of the more interesting characters in the story behind the making of the classic film.

It’s hard to imagine Macchio getting a whole lot of screen time considering he’s competing with the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Helen Mirren, Toni Collette, and Anthony Hopkins, just to name a few. The role does, however, have the potential to bring some insight into the method and madness behind the man and his most popular film.

In a 1997 documentary, “The Making of Psycho,” Stefano admits that his agent had to do some serious convincing just to get a meeting with Hitchcock, let alone a go-ahead to write the script. Stefano had made some significant adjustments to the novel in order to make it work more effectively as a film but it may have been Stefano’s fondness for psychoanalysis and openness about his own sessions that convinced Hitchcock he was the right man for the job, especially having to deal with such a complicated character as Norman Bates.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect that this film is sure to miss is the falling out between Hitchcock and Stefano following the success of “Psycho.” It was widely believed that the two would team up again to work on another project. In fact, Stefano was offered the writing gig for Hitchcock’s next two feature films, “The Birds” and “Marine,” only to turn down both in order to work on the series “The Outer Limits.”

The film started shooting in April 2012 and is scheduled for release in 2013.