Coming over the next 24 hours, an awful lot of coverage of The Woman In Black, with a masterclass in creeping out the audience from Jane Goldman, James Watkins and Susan Hill; and a chat with Hammer CEO Simon Oakes about the company's position in the horror market, their respect for the past and plans for the future.
But first, a little appetizer from Mr. Oakes. Here's a snippet from our conversation, detailing the very next move for the studio.
Can you keep the momentum up? There used to be a volume of Hammer films and that's partly how the brand became so strong? How long are we going to be waiting for the next one?
I think you'll see the next one within a year.
Really…! And can you give us any indication as to what that might be?
I'll tell you one project, which is The Quiet Ones. It's a poltergeist movie, which is based on a true story about a bunch of young scientists on a University campus who get led astray by a sort of Svengali like professor of physics and they go out and create a poltergeist, an ectoplasm from negative energy. As you can imagine, it goes really badly wrong. It's based on a true story, an event that happened in Canada in the mid-70s. It's written by Oren Moverman.
It seems that he slipped up a little there. Keep reading for the new details…
UPDATE: Bloody Disgusting have previously linked John Pogue and Nicolas Cage to The Quiet Ones. At that time, they believed Pogue to be writing the script too, and they made mention of "the exorcism of a young girl."
SECOND UPDATE: Bloody Disgusting have heard that Michael Sheen is in talks for the lead role. Boy, that would be nice.
THIRD UPDATE: Exclusive Media have now announced the film officially, and credit John Pogue with the screenplay – though I can see where Mr. Oakes' mistake came from. Moverman has written a previous draft of the film. Google found a Random House press release that mentions:
The Quiet Ones, based on the true story of a group of college kids who created a poltergeist from scratch, written by the 2009 Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear winner Oren Moverman.
And Oakes also mentioned Moverman's name to Digital Spy today.
However, it seems that the new draft has been written by Pogue. The full press release is below, announcing a May shoot date and containing a quote from Pogue.
8th February 2012: Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairmen of Exclusive Media and Simon Oakes, Vice-Chairman of Exclusive Media and President & CEO of Hammer announced today that Hammer's latest supernatural thriller/horror, The Quiet Ones, will be presented for the first time at the upcoming European Film Market (EFM).
Written and to be directed by John Pogue (Quarantine 2) and produced by James Gay-Rees (Senna, Exit Through The Gift Shop) The Quiet Ones marks Hammer's follow up to Daniel Radcliffe starrer The Woman in Black, which was released last weekend in the US on 3,000 screens grossing an outstanding $21M.
Inspired by true events, The Quiet Ones tells the story of an unorthodox professor who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: to create a poltergeist. Based on the theory that paranormal activity is caused by human negative energy, the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity. As frightening occurrences begin to take place with shocking and gruesome consequences, the group quickly realizes they have triggered a force more terrifying and evil than they ever could have imagined.
Exclusive Media's President of Worldwide Production & Acquisitions, Tobin Armbrust, will oversee production alongside Director of Development, Shira Rockowitz. Nancy Nayor has commenced casting on the film which is currently in pre-production and will start shooting in May 2012 in South Africa.
Alex Walton, President of International Sales and Distribution, will handle the international sales at EFM.
John Pogue said: "The Quiet Ones will take its audience on a thrilling ride of jumps, scares and eerie tingles which combined with set-pieces of unbearable tension will propel them through the shadowy chambers that imprison the tortured mind. It's a dark and claustrophobic picture which will portray how human desire can become trapped in an insidious world of its own creation and how you should always…be careful what you wish for."
Simon Oakes, President & CEO of Hammer and Vice Chairman of Exclusive Media said: "We can't wait to showcase The Quiet Ones at EFM. It's an incredibly chilling and sinister picture that we are proud to be a part of."
Hammer is a part of Exclusive Media. More on the past, present and future of the company over the next 24 hours, from Simon Oakes and the Woman in Black crew.