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.
Droplet by droplet, the morbidly-dubbed “Studio that Dripped Blood” is slowly coming back to life. Hammer Studios – the legendary British film company responsible for a graveyard of ghoulish delights in the '50s, '60s and '70s – has announced that a Woman in Black sequel (titled Woman in Black: Angel of Death) has begun filming. The flick is yet another step forward for the once-defunct House of Horror, having risen from the dead in 2007 to release Let Me In (2010), The Resident (2011) and The Woman In Black (2012). Still, for any true Hammer fan – while new films are cool and all – there awaits a whole host of characters and properties just dying for a comeback in modern retellings, particularly if coupled with that splatter of that old Hammer magic.
If 91-year-old Christopher Lee can unleash heavy metal albums and still appear in films, he can still don the cape – even in a small role. A fierce, blood-thirsty vampire series is what this generation needs. No love interest or wimpy waif lead need apply.
The Curse of Frankenstein
American film fans used to a lumbering lummox and little else owe it to themselves to investigate the Hammer series (seven in all) where Herr Doctor is the true star, and new undead atrocities await each installment.
Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires
Karate action meets the undead? Winner! While the original (a coupling of Hammer and the Shaw Brothers Studio) failed to do much box office, today’s climate seems right for this reworking, especially in light of The Rock getting ready to battle demons.
Dennis Wheatley adaptations
Either When the Devil Rides Out or To the Devil a Daughter could make for a good retelling. Wheatley’s tales are crackin’ good on their own – let alone that modern CG techniques could only improve the dated supernatural elements.
One Million Years B.C.
Okay, well not even close to scary, Hammer is also known for its output of cavegirl movies (including the forementioned “One Million Years B.C.” that put Raquel Welch in a fur bikini. Nuff said). Take a host of today’s hottest stars, drag out the animals skins and let’s have one more fake dinosaur fight, shall we? Who’s in!?
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).
UPDATE: While monitoring NBC's ratings may not be the most enthralling of games, watching as the peacock network rolls out its slate of new series is always diverting. We've watched the 2012 lineup of Chelsea Handler-inspired sitcoms and fedora-dependent dramas parade out before the viewing public, only for many of the flashier series to scamper off back to the place from whence they came. (Okay, okay. Are You There, Chelsea? is this close to scampering, but give it time, my friends.) But no matter which ones stick and which ones flop, NBC continually rolls things that make you go "Huh?" This year, we're once again doing the pug head tilt as we flip through the promising, perplexing and intriguing pilot-to-series pick-ups, just in time for next week's upfronts.
Hannibal Starring Hugh Dancy
The network has picked up ten episodes of Hannibal, a series about one of cinema's most beloved villains: Hannibal Lecter, immortalized by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon. Our Idiot Brother star Hugh Dancy is on board as Special Agent Will Graham (formerly played by Edward Norton in Red Dragon.)
1313 Mockingbird Lane Starring Eddie Izzard
In the 1960s, television introduced The Munsters: a life action fantasy-comedy about a family of working-class monsters (Frankenstein's monster, his vampire wife, their werewolf son, and Grandpa, a.k.a. Count "Sam" Dracula). NBC has picked up a reboot of the series, stressing the horror aspect. However, with comedian Eddie Izzard cast as Grandpa, there is likely to be a good deal of humor as well. NBC has picked up 13 episodes of 1313 Mockingbird Lane (a very apropos amount.)
Crossbones from the Creator of Luther
With cannibals and monsters on the way, NBC is covering all bases in terms of the dark and criminal: how about pirates? The network has ordered 10 episodes of Crossbones, a pirate-themed drama from Neil Cross, creator of Luther. The series is adapted from The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard, and is set in the 1700s.
Revolution Starring Giancarlo Esposito
When all of the world's electricity suddenly and suspiciously disappears, humanity is forced to pick up and start anew. Of course, easier said than done. Fifteen years after the incident, the world is overtaken by militant societies operating with guerilla warfare. When one girl loses her entire immediate family, she is forced to pick up and find a relative whom she hasn't seen since the planet lost its power. And of course, one question persists: why on Earth did this all happen in the first place?
Do No Harm Starring Steven Pasquale
Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde will be reinvented with a new, modern twist in Do No Harm. The new series stars Rescue Me's Steven Pasquale as an ingenious neurosurgeon, plagued by his malevolent, monstrous alter ego. Joining Pasquale are The Cosby Show's Phylicia Rashad and Law & Order's lana De La Garza.
Infamous Starring Meagan Good
NBC is delving into the world of soap operas and detective stories with Infamous (previously titled Notorious). The series stars Meagan Good who goes undercover among the wealthy family for whom her mother worked as housekeeper when Good's character was a child. She is bent on investigating the murder of one of the family members, who was also her childhood best friend. The series also features Victor Garber and Damages' Tate Donovan.
Guys with Kids Starring Anthony Anderson
In light of the recent "Having kids is funny" theme that is sweeping the comedy world, NBC has picked up Guys with Kids, a sitcom about three friends who are new fathers, all the while suspended in their own adolescence. Star Anthony Anderson actually tried this once already as a movie: My Baby's Daddy, back in 2004. But let's hope this time around, the project has a little more to it. The West Wing's Jesse Bradford, The Sopranos' Jamie-Lynn Sigler and The Cosby Show's Tempestt Bledsoe also star.
Chicago Fire from Creator Dick Wolf
Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf has spent most of his career looking at the crime-laden streets of New York City, with a few trips to Los Angeles here and there. But Wolf's newest series, Chicago Fire, will focus on a team of fire fighters in the Windy City. The program stars Vampire Diaries' Taylor Kinney, Hawaii Five-0's Lauren German, and House's Jesse Spencer as members of a (if this is the same Dick Wolf we're talking about) entertaining but no-nonsense and dedicated fire department.
1600 Penn Starring Josh GadLike NBC's 30 Rock, which takes place (obviously) at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York, 1600 Penn is set at the house every American can recognize in a matter of seconds: The White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Along with President Obama's former speech writer Jon Lovett and Modern Family director Jason Winer, Book of Mormon star Josh Gad penned this sitcom centered on the First family, a group who turns out to be just as messed up as the rest of us. Gad will star alongside Bill Pullman (who will play the President of the United States once again) and Brittany Snow co-stars as the First daughter.
Animal Practice Starring Weeds' Justin Kirk
You had us Justin Kirk, but just to humor NBC, let's dig into the details. Kirk stars as a vet (as in an animal doctor, not a guy who runs the pancake breakfasts at your church) who tends to side more with the animals he operates on than their owners. Tyler Labine (Reaper) and Bobby Lee (MadTV) costar, but they'll have to wrestle for screen time because Kirk's animal hospital will also include a monkey, presumably in a tiny white lab coat. Go On Starring Matthew Perry The series sounds promising enough — a sportscaster who suffers a great loss finds solace in his support group — just imagine the Former Mr. Chandler Bing as the smug sports guy finally coming to the conclusion that it's okay to get something out of group therapy. However, we've seen this before. In fact, it's almost too familiar. This series is practically an evolution from the last two series Perry tried to get off the ground: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Mr. Sunshine. He's a flippant sportscaster dealing with loss; it basically offers to combine the gravity of Aaron Sorkin's SNL-inspired dramedy with the silly, quippy nature of Mr. Sunshine. That sounds like a perfectly adept progression... now let's just see if it sticks. The New Normal from Creator Ryan Murphy From the creator of Glee and American Horror Story comes a regular family sitcom about a gay couple (The Hangover's Justin Bartha and Book of Mormon's Andrew Rannells,) their surrogate (Georgia King) and their children. Ellen Barkin co-stars as the surrogate's (hopefully delightfully icy) mother and Murphy favorite NeNe Leakes (The Real Housewives of Atlanta) has secured a recurring role. No matter what happens with Leakes and Queen Barkin, there's no way the perfect pairing of Bartha and Rannells won't be worth tuning in at least once. Save Me Starring Anne Heche Anne Heche may have earned her designer shoes by heading up series like Men in Trees and earning roles on Hung and Ally McBeal, but she still can't manage to escape the stigma of her mental breakdown in 2000. Still, we've got to give the girl kudos, because she's getting back on the horse — by playing a woman doing the exact same thing. Heche stars as a woman in a broken marriage who decides to better herself, and produces miracles along the way. It's always a risk bringing miraculous happenings into play on a sitcom, but the quirky Heche might be just the girl to do it. Revolution from J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke Not satisfied with past attempts to capture the post-apocalyptic mindset on television, Revolution attempts to traverse the territory for NBC. The series will follow a group of survivors (including Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito and Twilight's Billy Burke) as they struggle in the new American landscape bereft of technology and civil order. Sure, it sounds a little like Cormac McCarthy's bestseller The Road, but with a sizeable ensemble cast like Revolution's, there will be plenty of series-worthy drama to weave into the otherwise bleak landscape.
Matthew Perry's NBC Series a Go Bill Pullman Gets Presidential (Again) With NBC Giancarlo Esposito Joins J.J. Abrams' Revolution
[Image: Daily Celeb]
Sangster began his career as a clapper boy at the age of 16, before moving up to roles as an assistant director and screenwriter. But it was his stint as a writer at Britain's Hammer Horror studios which made his name, going on to tackle some of their most famous films, including The Mummy and Dracula, starring Sir Christopher Lee.
He later remarked, "All of a sudden I'm a cult figure. But it's all due to about five movies: a couple of Frankensteins, a couple of Draculas and a Mummy."
Sangster's other notable screen credits include Betty Davis' The Nanny and Paranoiac, which starred Oliver Reed.
He is survived by his second wife, actress Mary Peach, and his son. No cause of death had been made public as WENN went to press.
The legendary British company, Hammer Film Productions, was well-known for its classic movies including The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula, but it went 30 years without producing a picture after a downturn in the firm's fortunes and various ownership changes.
But Hammer is heading back to the big screen this year (10) with a series of high profile projects in the works, including an English-language remake of Swedish vampire thriller Let the Right One In.
And Radcliffe is delighted to be a part of the Hammer revival with the new adaptation of Susan Hill's creepy book.
He tells the Los Angeles Times, "It does bring a smile to my face, and it's an absolutely genuine smile. Hammer is the company that everybody wants to see succeed. It's such a part of our film heritage. It was a massive producer of films in its heyday - they were really prolific, there were tons of them - and with actors like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. It's wonderful to see that company, that name, in a resurgence."
On paper The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen sounds entirely intriguing. Great literary figures with amazing abilities who come to life to fight evil at the turn of the century? Oh yeah. The film based on a cult comic book (which film isn't these days?) chronicles the lives of these seven extraordinary--and extremely solitary--characters who sometimes view their individual abilities as more a curse than a blessing. Leading the group is Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery) a skilled hunter and great adventurer whose exploits are renowned; joining him is Rodney Skinner (Tony Curran) aka The Invisible Man a rogue master thief whose invisibility makes him darned hard to catch in the act; Mina Harker (Peta Wilson) a half-human half-vampire beauty who carries on the supernatural powers of her vampire lord Count Dracula; Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend) a dashing aristocrat (and Mina's ex-lover) whose immortality and guiltless conscience make him a perfect assassin; Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah) a brilliant scientist and anarchist whose inventions are way ahead of their time; Agent Sawyer as in Tom (Shane West) a hotshot American secret agent who is deadly with a rifle; and last but not least Dr. Jekyll (Jason Flemyng) a meek enough fellow within whom lurks Mr. Hyde a ferocious beast who emerges at Jekyll's will. The league is called upon by the mysterious British secret agent M (Richard Roxburgh) to stop a malevolent force known as The Fantom from creating a war among the world's nations by using the most advanced technologies of the day. In return for their service each of them are promised either cures or redemption for their acts. Unfortunately the rest of the story isn't nearly as interesting as the seven extraordinary characters themselves.
The large ensemble cast generally works together well tackling their iconic literary figures in unique ways. The king of the hill is definitely Connery who dominates the proceedings as the aging Quatermain. For a 73-year-old man the actor can still pull off the dashing hero--never once do you feel his is out of his element. Yet Connery works the age angle well showing how Quatermain's lifelong experiences as an explorer--along with a great personal tragedy--has worn the adventurer down. Other standouts include Townsend as Dorian who seems to have mastered the coldhearted yet deadly sexy killer persona since playing the vampire Lestat in Queen of the Damned; Flemyng (From Hell) as Jekyll who aptly displays the good doctor's never ending and sweaty battle to fight the urge to let the grotesquely huge Hyde loose and Wilson (TV's La Femme Nikita) who gives an interesting twist to the vampiress Mina--although it isn't made entirely clear how she can retain her human qualities like walking around in sunlight after being made into a creature of the night. Don't remember that story tic in Dracula…. The other members of the league--including Shah (Monsoon Wedding) as Nemo and Curran (Blade II) as the Invisible Man--are unfortunately left sorely underdeveloped which is a shame since they are just as intriguing as any of the others. And what about a grown-up version of Tom Sawyer? There's plenty of potential in that scenario but West (A Walk to Remember) as Sawyer is relegated to being just another hotheaded American.
To get League made was a feat in itself. From the onslaught the production was plagued with some serious setbacks including last summer's terrible flooding in Prague the film's main location which damaged prop houses and a few of the elaborate sets including Nemo's ship the Nautilus. There were also rumored problems between star/executive producer Connery and director Stephen Norrington (Blade) wherein Connery believed Norrington was taking too long to make the film. This could be one of the reasons League is majorly flawed: nothing seems cohesive and it suffers in its execution. The action sequences are a mess--too dark and confusing you aren't quite sure who's doing what to whom. The special effects are run of the mill nothing spectacular save for the Nautilus which does loom large in the water like a steely shark. In fact League's sets are one the film's few assets especially the inside of the ship with its opulent Eastern decor and Dorian's dilapidated waterfront lodgings. The complex themes the film brings up are only glossed over such as the evils of an industrial age and of a scientific world gone mad as well as the idea of using formidable literary characters with strange superpowers to do good. Instead the film goes for the easy action-thriller way out--and doesn't even do a good job at it. League just doesn't live up to its potential.
The story, set in present-day San Francisco, focuses on the attempts of Kurt von Helsing and Mary Gibbons to destroy Count Dracula, a 512-year-old vampire they believe is alive and living in California, posing as a professor of East European History at Southbay College.