Netflix’s adaptation of Rebecca arrived on Netflix on October 21st, but just how did Rebecca de Winter die? Did Maxim de Winter kill his own wife?

While the global film and TV industry has faced unprecedented delays thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, Netflix has managed to keep its steady stream of original content flowing.

Each week, new films and TV series arrive and in October 2020, fans have been treated to the re-imagining of a true classic, Rebecca.

The film tells the story of Mrs de Winter as she starts a new life with her newly married husband, the widower Maxim de Winter.

The death of Maxim’s first wife, the titular Rebecca, is a mystery throughout the film and fans have been left wondering just how did Rebecca die.

Rebecca | Official Trailer | Netflix

Rebecca | Official Trailer | Netflix

Rebecca on Netflix

Rebecca arrived on Netflix on October 21st, 2020.

The film tells the story of the newly married Mrs de Winter (Lily James).

After a whirlwind Monte Carlo romance with widower Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammie), the two marry and the new Mrs de Winter quickly settles into a life of luxury at the grand Manderley estate.

However, Maxim’s first wife, the titular Rebecca, is a dark presence that looms over the newly married Mrs de Winter courtesy of Manderley’s sinister housekeeper, Mrs Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas).


How did Rebecca de Winter die?

  • Rebecca de Winter was shot and killed by Maxim in assisted suicide, who then makes her killing look like a boating accident.

From the start, it’s believed that Rebecca died in said boating accident but as the film progresses, the exact truth about Rebecca and Maxim’s troubled marriage and the circumstances of her death emerges.

The de Winter’s marriage was an unhappy one from the start as Rebecca told Maxim that she did not love him within weeks of tying the knot and she was cold and cruel to Maxim thereafter.

However, not wanting to tarnish his family’s name, Maxim was forced to endure her torment without divorcing her.

Their circumstances change dramatically when Rebecca appears to become illegitimately pregnant but a doctor’s notes reveal that she had developed a terminal cancerous growth in her uterus.

Knowing that her husband would be set free by her slow and painful death, Rebecca hatched a plan to have Maxim kill her so that he would be arrested, sent to prison and would lose Manderley.


Instead, after Maxim pulls the trigger, he hides her body in the cabin of a boat and sends it out to sea after scuttling the vessel, leading to the belief that she died in a boating accident.

However, when Rebecca’s body is later found and it becomes clear that the boat was deliberately scuttled, Maxim de Winter once again enters the frame as her potential killer.

But after Rebecca’s medical reports are examined, showing that she only had weeks left to live prior to her death, the incident is eventually recorded as suicide and Maxim is cleared of any charges.

Despite this, a happy life at Manderley is not forthcoming as the sinister Mrs Danvers, who was loyal to Rebecca, burns down Manderley before jumping into the sea and killing herself.


Rebecca is available to stream now on Netflix after releasing on October 21st, 2020.

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