Michael and Peter Spierig have in their crosshairs the Hammer Films’ supernatural thriller Winchester, about an heir to that firearms family fortune who believes she has been cursed by the victims and the lethal legacy of the “gun that won the West.”
The Spierig siblings will rewrite to direct the film, which will be shot in the world-famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. The story revolves around heir Sarah Winchester, who in 1884 began 38 years of construction on the 24,000-square-foot, 160-room Gothic mansion. It was after the sudden deaths of her husband and child that Winchester began to believe she was cursed by the family legacy, and she was instructed to build the mansion by a spiritualist medium, to appease the spirits. She never stopped building. Even though it’s a period film, I can’t imagine it will a favorite of the NRA, whose lobbying and money has kept gun makers from being held accountable to the bloodshed from their wares.
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Legendary horror production house Hammer is teaming with an actual haunted house for its latest development project. Hammer has optioned the rights to the story of the San Jose, California-based Winchester Mystery House which is considered the world’s most haunted. The studio is developing and producing a feature with Imagination Design Works and Nine/8 Entertainment. Shooting will take place at the real house whose history dates back to about 1884. Lore has it that Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by “the gun that won the west.” Following a medium’s advice, Sarah built a massive house to appease the spirits – and never stopped building it. The belief was that if she never ceased construction, she would live forever. Tobin Armbrust of Hammer parent Exclusive Media is overseeing with Shira Rockowitz. Brett Tomberlin and Antonia Lianos will produce for Imagination Design Works along with Andrew Trapani (The Haunting In Connecticut) and Brian Gilbert (Wrong Turn) for Nine/8 Entertainment. IDW is represented by Alexa Pagonas at Michael Black Management. Allison Binder reps Nine/8 Entertainment.
Enjoying a resurgence with The Woman In Black, venerable British horror studio Hammer has chosen the Cinema And Television History (CATH) Research Centre at the UK’s Leicester De Montfort University to house its script archive. The CATH center will catalogue and curate a collection that includes screenplays from most of the studio’s film and TV productions from 1947-1990 along with extensive corporate paperwork, correspondence and other ephemera. This is the first time the archive will be opened to public research and study. Last month, Hammer announced a global restoration project for its library of films in partnership with Studiocanal, Pinewood and other international players and with the participation of 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Paramount. The studio was founded in 1934 and has produced such films as Frankenstein Created Woman, Read More »
Legendary horror studio Hammer has announced a global restoration project for its library of films. In partnership with Studiocanal, Pinewood and other international players, more than 30 films will be revamped in HD for Blu-ray and other new media supports. Hammer’s original U.S. production partners, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Paramount, are also participating in the project. The first title to be released is Dracula Prince Of Darkness, which will go out in March in the UK. The studio was founded in 1934 and went on to make such titles as The Plague Of The Zombies, Frankenstein Created Woman, The Witches and The Mummy. Since 2008, it’s been a division of the Exclusive Media Group. After ceasing production in the 1980s, Hammer returned to features in 2010 with Matt Reeves’ adaptation of Swedish hit Let Me In. This year, it will release Daniel Radcliffe-starrer The Woman In Black. Here’s the release: Read More »
Hammer Films will produce and finance Wake, a story that the studio says involves a “modern day Jekyll and Hyde who knows no bounds.” It’s in the hands of Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom, who’s also responsible for The Rite and 1408. The screenplay is from Christopher Borrelli, who’s also writing The Vatican Tapes, due in 2014, with a new draft by Matt Sand, who’s working on Deepwater Horizon, about the oil-rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The reinvigoration of the legendary British film brand Hammer now includes Jeanette Winterson, the award-winning British author. She’s writing an original novella for the new Hammer imprint to be published summer 2011. Arrow Books (Random House) plans to publish 6 Hammer novels a year beginning spring 2011. However, Hammer’s first film release in over 30 years, Let Me In, made an inauspicious U.S. start last weekend for Overture/Relativity. Next up is The Resident, starring Hilary Swank, which is still looking for a U.S. distributor. Meanwhile, Daniel Radcliffe is currently shooting Hammer’s The Woman In Black on location in the UK. Read More »