Film bosses behind spooky hit The Woman In Black are set to remake classic horror movie The Abominable Snowman. The original 1957 film, which starred Peter Cushing, focuses on a scientist's search for the mythical Yeti.
Chiefs at Britain's rebooted Hammer film studios have now announced plans for an updated version of the iconic movie, which will be penned by screenwriters Matthew Read and Jon Croker.
The project comes after Hammer Horror scored a huge hit with The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, last year (12).
Hammer president Simon Oakes says, "The success of The Woman In Black has shown that there is an appetite for quality horror films, so it is exciting to draw on Hammer's unparalleled source material in this genre which can be re-imagined and updated for a new audience."
The production company, famous for classic movies including The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula, was brought back to life in 2008 after a 30-year absence.
Terry Gilliam and Richard O'Brien have thrown their support behind a campaign to save the famed U.K. film studios where the famous Hammer Horror movies were made. The current owners of Bray Studios in Berkshire, England have decided to sell off the building so it can be turned into luxury homes, but the plans have infuriated Hammer Horror fans and stars including O'Brien, who shot The Rocky Horror Picture Show there.
A petition and a Facebook.com campaign have been launched in a bid to save the iconic site, and O'Brien tells Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "I would hate to see developers turn Bray into some riverside homes," while Gilliam, who filmed The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus at Bray, adds, "There is still a place for the smaller studios like Bray. There is a feeling that things have been allowed to decay."
Simon Oakes, chief executive of Hammer Films, has also thrown his support behind the campaign, but insists the studios need a complete renovation, adding, "I would love Bray to survive as it was an important part of the Hammer story. But I was there a couple of years ago and the facilities were pretty dilapidated, even then."
The studios were previously owned by Hammer bosses, who set some of the company's most famous horror films there, including 1957's The Curse Of Frankenstein and Dracula: Prince Of Darkness in 1966.
After it was sold by Hammer in the 1960s, the location continued to be used for filming and was also used for some parts of sci-fi blockbuster Alien.
The legendary Hammer Film Productions company, famed for classic movies including The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula, was brought back to life in 2008 after a 30-year absence.
Hammer released Hilary Swank thriller The Resident, an English-language remake of Swedish vampire thriller Let the Right One In and scored a massive box office hit with Daniel Radcliffe's The Woman In Black, and bosses have now revealed they will be testing out theatre for the first time.
A Hammer production of Rebecca Lenkiewicz's play, based on the classic ghost story by Henry James, will open in London in January (13).
Hammer boss Simon Oakes tells the BBC, "It's very much at the creative centre of what we're trying to do in the rebooted Hammer. It's really a toe in the water. The Hammer name is there as a co-producer (with Act Productions) - it wasn't a project we developed ourselves... The long-term idea is to create shows that can then become content for our film business as well."
The Turn of the Screw, about a governess who takes over caring for two children after the death of their parents, will run at London's Almeida theatre from 18 January to 16 March 2013.
Hammer's move into theatre comes after the company branched out into book publishing last year (11).
The film, based on the book of the same name by Susan Hill, has become Britain's highest-grossing horror film ever after raking in more than $33 million (£20.6 million) in the U.K. and upwards of $120 million (£75 million) worldwide, and now studio bosses at Hammer Films want to cash in on its popularity with a second installment.
Author Hill has penned a sequel to the original novel, The Woman In Black: Angels of Death, which will be adapted for the big screen by Jon Crocker.
Simon Oakes, President and CEO of Hammer Films, says, "We are proud and honoured to be working with Susan again on The Woman In Black: Angels Of Death, a wonderful new tale every bit as atmospheric and terrifying as its predecessor The Woman In Black."
It is not yet known if Radcliffe will return for the sequel.
The spooky film is Radcliffe's first lead role since the end of the Harry Potter series, and his fame pulled in viewers in America, were the movie made $21 million (£13.1 million) in ticket sales.
The release is the legendary Hammer studio's biggest success story in its 78-year history, giving the production company its highest ever weekend opening.
Hammer Film Productions' Simon Oakes says, "We are delighted that The Woman in Black has performed so well. The fact that a Gothic horror has attracted such a large audience on opening weekend shows the demand for elevated and intelligent genre films which Hammer aims to produce."
The actor takes on a guest role in the movie, which is part of a new batch of thrillers being produced by the revamped Hammer Film company.
And he had an extra reason to celebrate on set - he was made a Sir by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during production of the movie last year (09).
Hammer Films boss Simon Oakes tells Empire magazine, "He didn't actually get the sword on the shoulder. But the news came out while he was making the film. All the Brits were terribly excited. The Yanks were going, 'What's all that about?'"
Daniel Radcliffe is to star in Hammer Films' gothic thriller The Woman in Black, according to various media reports.
The film, based on the book by Susan Hill, will be directed by James Watkins and adapted by Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman. Per Variety, Radcliffe will play young lawyer Arthur Kipps, who is ordered to travel to a remote pocket of the UK to tend to a deceased client's papers. Kipps soon begins to uncover the ghostly secrets of the house and local village.
Alliance Films will co-finance along with Hammer's parent company, Exclusive Media Group. Exclusive Films International is handling international sales.
Simon Oakes is producing for Exclusive's Hammer Films label as is Richard Jackson at Talisman Films.
Exclusive's Nigel Sinclair and Guy East will serve as executive producers along with Vertigo Entertainment's Roy Lee.
Hill's novel was adapted for the stage and is still running in London's West End, more than 20 years after making its debut, notes the BBC.
Production is expected to begin in the fall.
Green Zone is a story we’ve already heard shot in a manner we’ve already seen and starring Matt Damon in a role he’s already played. Remember those WMDs that were never found in Iraq and later exposed to be the invention of a dubious and poorly-vetted informant? Remember the misguided and hideously botched attempt at establishing democracy after the fall of Saddam and the violent prolonged insurgency that ensued? If you’ve been away from the television for the past hour and somehow managed to forget any of these details Green Zone is here to remind you.
Damon plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller an Army weapons inspector whose frustration over repeatedly coming up empty in his search for Iraqi WMDs leads him on a quest to track down and expose the people responsible for leading him (and us) down that infamously bogus path. Though his hand-to-hand skills are a notch below Jason Bourne’s Miller’s single-mindedness moral certainty and permanent expression of square-jawed defiance — always threatening another “How do you like them apples?” rebuke — in the face of an insidious multi-level government conspiracy are essentially equivalent to those of Damon’s Bourne trilogy soulmate.
And like Bourne his most dangerous adversary isn’t found on the battlefront but rather within the government he once served so proudly. As Miller delves ever deeper into the Case of the Faulty WMD Intelligence Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) the duplicitous arrogant Defense Department bureaucrat in charge of U.S. operations in Iraq summarily relieves him of his post. (Hint: the better dressed a Green Zone character is the more sinister his ambitions.) But Miller remains undeterred and he goes rogue to locate the CIA informant “Magellan ” a formerly high-ranking Iraqi official whose supposed confirmation of Saddam’s nuclear ambitions served as the basis for U.S. invasion.
We know how the story ends. Green Zone’s pervasive overarching sense of deja vu is accentuated by director — and veteran Bourne helmer — Paul Greengrass who employs the trademark hand-held super-shakycam style which was so fresh and inventive in 2004 but now feels stale and predictable. (Admittedly my aversion to Greengrass’ approach was no doubt heightened by a previous night’s viewing of Roman Polanski’s excellent The Ghost Writer a political thriller as subtle and precise and finely tuned as Green Zone is ham-fisted and haphazard — and which also uses the phantom WMD controversy to far greater narrative effect.)
Green Zone culminates in essentially a violent footrace between Miller and the Army Special Forces as they scour a heavily-armed insurgent stronghold to find Magellan with Miller hoping to secure his potentially damning testimony before the Army can silence him for good. The climactic sequence for all I could tell was either shot in Damon’s backyard culled from Bourne trilogy deleted scenes or assembled from scattered YouTube clips. This punishingly chaotic often incoherent and ultimately exhausting approach to storytelling isn’t cinema verite; it’s dementia pugilistica.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.