Helen Mirren To Be Haunted
Winchester, a supernatural thriller to star Dame Helen Mirren, is now set for US distribution.
CBS Films recently grabbed up the rights from Bullitt Entertainment and Diamond Pictures.
The pic, which takes place during the late 19th century, will be directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, aka The Spierig Brothers, who also hammered out the screenplay.
Mirren’s character is Sarah Winchester – an heiress recovering from the sudden loss her husband and child – who believes she is being terrorised by the spirits of those killed by the famous Winchester rifle.
Following the advice of a medium, she oversees construction of a massive mansion – located in San Jose, California – in a desperate attempt to keep the spirits happy. The medium has also warned that Sarah could die if construction is ever halted – so work must be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And that’s how it is over a period of nearly forty years. By the turn of the century, the mansion is seven storeys tall.
Eventually, a psychiatrist, from San Francisco, visits the house to determine Sarah’s state of mind, and discovers that there may be something more to her fears.
Brett Tomberlin and Tom McGahan are producing, while exec producers include Simon Oakes, Marc Shipper and Brian Gilbert.
Bullitt Entertainment, Diamond Pictures and Blacklab Entertainment are handling the pic’s financing, and international sales go to Diamond Pictures.
Production kicks in next March in San Jose and Australia.