Hammer Films Lives Again
Hammer Films is back in action as The Wake Wood begins principal photography this week. It’s the first of three new films from the current owner of the production entity. The original story was conceived by producer Brendan McCarthy who cowrote the screenplay with director David Keating (Where do I Begin?). Shooting will take place in Ireland. Vertigo Films has signed on to distribute the film in the United Kingdom in 2009 with a domestic release to likely follow.
The film stars Timothy Spall, Aidan Gillen and Eva Birthistle about parents who are mourning the loss of their daughter to an attack by a dog. They are suddenly given an opportunity to have three more days with her.
They are also prepping to shoot the English version of the Swedish vampire tale Let the Right One In. Following, according to Variety will be:
“The Resident, a chiller directed by Antti Jokinen (Nightwish: End of an Era) that is described as being in the tradition of The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” according to the trade. “The Quiet Ones is based on the supposedly true story of a group of Canadian hippie scientists in the 1970s who attempt to create a ghost.” No director has been announced for the final film.
Hammer traces its roots back to the 1930s but really stood out in the 1950s with their color-saturated retellings of the classic movie monsters in films usually starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. They also were known for their scream queens such as Ingrid Pitt.
The studio more or less shut down after the 1970s and only now is it being resurrected.
Dutch producer John De Mol purchased the Hammer Films rights in May 2007 and this year merged it with Los Angeles-based Spitfire Pictures.
The new Hammer opened for business with Beyond the Rave, a contemporary vampire tale which ran for twenty chapters, each four minutes long and found on MySpace.