THE WORLD’S MOST HAUNTED HOUSE
OPENS ITS DOORS TO HAMMER
IMAGINATION DESIGN WORKS, INC. AND NINE/8 ENTERTAINMENT
THE ICONIC PRODUCTION CO. OPTIONS RIGHTS TO DEVELOP AND PRODUCE HORROR FEATURE FILM
Los Angeles, CA (April 27, 2012) – In the first deal of its kind, the San Jose, California based Winchester Mystery House considered the “world’s most haunted house” is authorizing Hammer, an Exclusive Media company, the use of its unique property for a feature film based on its legendary story. Hammer has optioned all rights to develop and produce the feature film with Imagination Design Works (IDW) and Nine/8 Entertainment, it was announced today by Simon Oakes, Vice-Chairman of Exclusive Media and President & CEO of Hammer, and Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairmen of Exclusive Media.
Production on the supernatural horror film currently in development will be overseen by Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust, President of Worldwide Production and Acquisitions, and Shira Rockowitz, Director of Development and Production. Brett Tomberlin and Antonia Lianos will produce for Imagination Design Works, Inc along with Andrew Trapani and Brian Gilbert for Nine/8 Entertainment.
“The Winchester House has a rich and compelling history. The story behind how it was built has attracted a great deal of attention over the years and we are excited to bring that mythology to film,” said Tobin Armbrust. “We are also thrilled, and terrified, that the House has allowed us to film on the premises”.
"We are extremely excited to be partnering with Exclusive Media to bring the story of the Winchester Mystery House to a global audience. For many years, the mystique and history of this unique venue, and its owner Sarah Winchester, could be experienced only by those visiting the site. Now, with a film shot in and around the House, Sarah's spirit will be brought back to life, and the audience will see first-hand this stunning and bizarre house," said Brett Tomberlin, President, Imagination Design Works.
The Winchester Mystery House has a startling history and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. Popular belief holds that Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by “the gun that won the west.” Following a Medium’s advice, Sarah built a massive house in Northern California to appease the spirits. For the next 38 years, she never stopped building believing that if she continued, she would live forever, and if she stopped, she would die. Known as the “house built for the spirits,” there have been many inexplicable ghost sightings and to this day, visitors share their terrifying stories of having been in the presence of these departed souls who continue to roam the grounds of the intricate and enigmatic house. Exclusive Media is a major force in the production and international distribution arena. Recent production titles include the box office hit THE WOMAN IN BLACK starring Daniel Radcliffe, and George Clooney’s THE IDES OF MARCH produced by Smokehouse Pictures and co-produced by Exclusive Media with Cross Creek Pictures.
Other Hammer productions in the works include THE QUIET ONES to be directed by John Pogue starring Jared Harris, BONESHAKER to be produced with Cross Creek Pictures, GASLIGHT written by newcomer Ian Fried and the newly announced THE WOMAN IN BLACK: ANGELS OF DEATH, to be produced with Talisman, Cross Creek Pictures and Alliance Films.
Exclusive Media’s current production slate includes Ron Howard’s epic RUSH starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl and produced with production partners Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Working Title, Brian Grazer, and Revolution Films; END OF WATCH starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick and America Ferrera set for release through Open Road Films on September 28; SO UNDERCOVER starring Miley Cyrus and SNITCH starring Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon in post-production.
Other recent titles from Exclusive Media’s documentary film division, Spitfire Pictures, include the Academy Award winning UNDEFEATED currently in release through The Weinstein Company, the Grammy Award winning FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH produced in association with Allentown Productions and Martin Scorsese’s award winning GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD produced by Martin Scorsese, Nigel Sinclair and Olivia Harrison.
IDW is represented by Alexa Pagonas at Michael Black Management.
Originally founded in 1934, legendary British film studio Hammer has delivered a hugely successful run of films over the years including Dracula, Frankenstein Created Woman, One Million Years B.C. and The Vampire Lovers. Since 2008, the company has been part of Exclusive Media, which is reinvigorating this beloved global brand through investment across both traditional and new media.
Not in production since the 1980s, Hammer marked their return to features in 2010 with the release of the critically acclaimed Let Me In, an adaptation of the highly praised Swedish film Låt den rätte komma in. The film was written and directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and stars Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road).
In 2011, Hammer released Antti Jokinen’s The Resident starring two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby), Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hammer legend Sir Christopher Lee, as well as the critically lauded Wake Wood directed by David Keating and starring Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle and Timothy Spall.
February 2012 saw the theatrical release of Hammer’s first ever feature ghost story The Woman In Black, directed by James Watkins, adapted by Jane Goldman from the book by Susan Hill, and starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film has taken over $ 100mm worldwide making it one of the biggest indie horror films.
Hammer recently launched a new publishing imprint through Random House which has already published eight books. In February 2012 the imprint published its first original title with the much-praised “The Greatcoat” by Helen Dunmore, which will be followed by an original novel about the Pendle witches, by Jeanette Winterson, and “Coldbrook” by Tim Lebbon. Also publishing in 2012 are further new novelisations of classic Hammer films.
Hammer is also broadening its reach, with plans for a Hammer Theatre of Horror and a Hammer visitor attraction, as well as continuing to honour the company’s legacy with re-releases of classic films, official histories, merchandise, screenings and social media engagement.
For further information about Hammer and its parent company Exclusive Media, please visit www.hammerfilms.com and www.exclusivemedia.com
ABOUT EXCLUSIVE MEDIA
Exclusive Media is a vertically integrated global film entertainment company, founded in May 2008 with the backing of the strategic investment group Cyrte Investments. Exclusive Media develops, finances, produces, markets and distributes prestige and talent driven commercial and documentary feature films on a global basis. Exclusive Media is run by a five member Executive Board with Nigel Sinclair as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Guy East as Co-Chairman, Simon Oakes as Vice Chairman and President of Hammer, Marc Schipper as Chief Operating Officer, and Randy Hermann as Chief Financial Officer. Supporting the Executive Board in both the operational management and strategic expansion of the business is a strong team of highly skilled professionals who have a broad range of complementary experience.
Exclusive Media’s development and production activities operate through three specialist labels: UK based Hammer for genre titles, Spitfire Pictures for documentary features and the flagship label Exclusive Media for all other feature film production. Exclusive Media’s international sales & distribution division maintains a strong marketing presence and represents the group’s in-house productions plus its growing library of over 550 titles, as well as actively acquiring third party feature films to further strengthen its international distribution slate. For further information about the company, our slate of films, library and our experienced management team please visit www.exclusivemedia.com