Big news today from Daniel Radcliffe World. A press release distributed today announced that the Harry Potter star:
Daniel Radcliffe will take the lead in The Woman in Black, Hammer Films and Alliance Films hotly anticipated adaptation of Susan Hill’s best-selling novel, it was announced today by Simon Oakes, and Nigel Sinclair of Exclusive and Hammer.
To be directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) and written by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass, The Debt) The Woman in Black follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe), who is ordered to travel to a remote corner of the UK and sort out a recently deceased client’s papers. As he works alone in an old and isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover its tragic secrets, and his unease grows when he discovers that the local village is held hostage by the ghost of a scorned woman set on vengeance. Production is expected to begin in the Fall of 2010.
I’m intrigued by the notion of a Woman in Black movie — I saw the stage play in the West End in 1996, and found it deeply creepy — and I think Radcliffe is shaping up to be a terrific young actor. But he’s only 21 — his 21st birthday is, in fact, this Friday, July 23 — which means he’s barely old enough to have gotten through undergrad education, never mind law school and the bar exam. I’m sure legal education isn’t quite the same in the U.K. as it is in the U.S., but still, can someone be a full working lawyer at 21?
And Radcliffe is a young 21, at that: he comes across as younger than he is. It seems like an uphill battle for him to take on such a role at this point in his career.
Perhaps more important, however: Hammer Films?!
Hammer is the legendary British film brand, which was originally launched in 1934 and delivered a hugely successful run of films in the 1950s including Gothic classics “Dracula” and “The Curse of Frankenstein” and Sci-Fi picture “The Quatermass Xperiment.” Hammer’s reputation became branded worldwide as ‘Hammer House of Horror’. In the 1960s Hammer struck distribution deals with Universal, Warner Brothers, Fox and Columbia. Hammer went on to produce a huge volume of films which included such titles as “The Plague of Zombie,” “The Nanny,” “Quatermass and the Pit,” “The Devil Rides Out” and “One Million Years B.C.”
Right. Exactly. Old-school stuff. Not exactly 21st century.
Not in production since the 1980s, the company’s brand is now being aggressively reinvigorated by Exclusive Media Group (Exclusive) through new investment in the development and production of film, television and digital-platform content.
Ah. Well then.
I haven’t seen Eden Lake, though I just added it to my Netflix queue. Still: two odd bits of news wrapped up together. It’s sort of unsettling. Maybe that’s a good sign, for a horror movie…