The Harry Potter films have quite literally seized a decade of his life, but with the saga coming to an end in 2011, Daniel Radcliffe is getting all his ducks in a row for a healthy post-Potter career. Following up on the Shock Till You Drop rumor that kicked off the weekend, Hammer Films has confirmed via press release that Radcliffe will star in director James Watson’s adaptation of the Susan Hill novel The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story. Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) penned the script, which posits Radcliffe as a young lawyer visiting a remote English town which holds many a ghostly secret. Hit the jump for the full press release and further details on the project.
Hammer Films originally intended for Woman to be a 3D production, but according to Variety, those plans have been put on hold. When Steve spoke to Goldman back in April, the redheaded indicated that she wanted to tackle the “Victorian ghost story” in a “J-horror kind of way”. That description definitely intrigues this writer, who is generally not much for the horror genre.
I do like the roles Radcliffe is attaching himself to these days, though I suppose he can afford to be choosy with millions of Galleons dollars in the bank. Following a Broadway run of How to Succeed Without Really Trying in 2011, Radcliffe will star in a new adaptation of the classic Erich Maria Remarque WWI novel All Quiet on the Western Front. This time last year, there was a rumor that Radcliffe was eying The Hobbit, but the fantasy franchise doesn’t seem to be on Radcliffe’s career map at the moment. I respect that, and it looks like he will successfully avoid the potential pitfalls of childhood stardom. Very cool.
You can, of course, see Radcliffe in theaters starting November 19th in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, and again when Deathly Hallows: Part II concludes the octalogy on July 15, 2011. Production on The Woman in Black is scheduled to begin this fall.
Here’s a synopsis for Hill’s ghost story via Amazon:
Set on the obligatory English moor, on an isolated causeway, the story has as its hero one Arthur Kipps, an up-and-coming young solicitor who has come north to attend the funeral and settle the estate of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. The routine formalities he anticipates give way to a tumble of events and secrets more sinister and terrifying than any nightmare: the rocking chair in the nursery of the deserted Eel Marsh House, the eerie sound of pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most dreadfully, and for Kipps most tragically, the woman in black.
And here’s the official press release from Hammer Films:
HAMMER FILM’S THE WOMAN IN BLACK SET TO STAR DANIEL RADCLIFFE
London, England (19.07.10) – 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.
Exclusive and Alliance Films will co-finance the film. Alliance Films will also distribute the film in the United Kingdom (Momentum), Spain (Aurum) and Canada (Alliance Films). Exclusive Films International, headed by Chairman Guy East and President of International Sales and Distribution Alex Walton, is handling worldwide sales.
Daniel Radcliffe is of course, best known for his portrayal of the bespectacled wizard Harry Potter, in the hugely successful series of feature films based on J. K. Rowling’s publishing phenomenon. He has starred in all eight films and collaborated with respected directors Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates. He also starred in Brian Kirk’s My Boy Jack (written by and also co-starring David Haig), playing the role of Rudyard Kipling’s tragic 17 year old son who went off to fight in the First World War. Most recently Radcliffe has proved him self an accomplished stage actor, receiving tremendous reviews and acclaim for his portrayal of Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer’s Equus in the West End and on Broadway. Radcliffe will return to Broadway next Spring to star in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
“’When I met Dan, it was quite uncanny how closely our thoughts on the story mirrored each other: I can’t wait to get down to work with him to fashion a compelling character and a classy ghost story that tugs at the heart and chills to the bone,” says James Watkins.
Simon Oakes continues, “We’re thrilled to have Daniel on board, I can think of no better actor to play the role of Arthur Kipps. I’m confident that under the direction of James Watkins, he’ll take Jane Goldman’s script and deliver an utterly intense and compelling performance.”
Daniel Radcliffe said, “I am incredibly excited to be part of The Woman In Black. Jane Goldman’s script is beautifully written – both tender and terrifying in equal measure. It is thrilling to be working with James Watkins. From his brilliant work on Eden Lake and also having met him and heard his vision for the film, I know he will make a fantastic film.”
The Woman in Black is produced by Simon Oakes for Exclusive’s Hammer Films label and Richard Jackson at Talisman Films. Exclusive’s Nigel Sinclair and Guy East are serving as Executive Producers, along with Roy Lee for Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring). Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) is adapting the screenplay, based on Susan Hill’s best-selling novel.
Susan Hill’s novel has become a modern classic, appearing on the national curriculum in the United Kingdom. The Woman in Black was also adapted into a stage play by Stephen Mallatratt, first performed at the Theatre-By-The-Sea in Scarborough, UK in 1987. It moved to the Fortune Theatre in London’s West End in 1989, where it still successfully runs today, over twenty years later, and has been performed the world over.
Exclusive is currently in post-production on three films: Matt Reeves’ Let Me In starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Elias Koteas and Richard Jenkins (produced through its Hammer Films label, Overture Films will release the film in October 2010); Antti Jokinen’s The Resident starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lee Pace and Christopher Lee (produced through Hammer Films); and Peter Weir’s The Way Back starring Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong and Colin Farrell. The company recently premiered Spitfire Pictures’ The Last Play at Shea, about Billy Joel and his last performance at Shea Stadium, at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and is currently in production on the authorised history of Formula 1.
ABOUT 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.”
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.
Hammer’s return to horror was heralded by interactive web serial “Beyond the Rave,” which was broadcast by MySpace in 12 territories in 2008. Today, Hammer has an active development slate across diverse genres sourced out of both Europe and the United States. Hammer recently wrapped production on “The Resident,” which stars two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Boys Don’t Cry”) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Watchmen”) and is directed by Antti Jokinen. Also in post production for Hammer is, “Let Me In”, an adaptation of the highly acclaimed Swedish Film, “Lat den Ratte Komma In,” a.k.a. “Let the Right One In”, written and directed by Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”).