Rachel Weisz set to reboot David Cronenberg’s ‘Dead Ringers’ for TV

Rachel Weisz in My Cousin Rachel.
Rachel Weisz in My Cousin Rachel. (Image credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Actress Rachel Weisz is heading to television for a new adaptation of David Cronenberg’s 1998 psychological thriller Dead Ringers. Teaming up with Normal People lead writer Alice Birch, Weisz will star in and produce the series for broadcast on Amazon, who gave a straight-to-series order to the project.

Reimagining Cronenberg’s film starring Jeremy Irons, Amazon’s Dead Ringers will star Weisz as the Mantle twins, brilliant, identical obstetrician-gynecologists developing pioneering new ways to advance the science of childbirth. Deadline reported Tuesday that Weisz’ and Birch’s take will examine some of the same themes as the original film, which preyed on the intersection of science, technology, sex, and human frailty. A big fan of the original movie, Weisz developed the premise and hired Birch to write the adaptation on spec. Amazon pounced and committed to a full series order, while Annapurna TV assembles a writers room.

Per Deadline, Dead Ringers “is said to have a different tone and explore themes like women’s health and the issues it faces, including underfunding, as it focuses on the two professional women, the Mantle twins, who are excellent at their jobs while also trying to navigate life outside of work.” Like in the original film, the Mantle twins wrestle with their ambition and maintain an uneasy balance even as they indulge their desires, ideas expected to resonate more vividly with an ongoing story of female doctors overhauling an industry and a scientific field that too often fails to meet their medical needs. 

Suffice it to say that Dead Ringers offers Weisz an unusual acting challenge playing two identical characters, and promises an intriguing look at sexuality and professionalism through a female gaze.

Todd Gilchrist

Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based film critic and entertainment journalist with more than 20 years’ experience for dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Fangoria. An obsessive soundtrack collector, sneaker aficionado and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Todd currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Beatrix and Biscuit, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.