ShockTillYouDrop.com reports that “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe has signed to play the lead role in Hammer Films and Alliance Films’ adaptation of Susan Hill’s best-selling novel The Woman in Black.
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.
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.
“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,” said Watkins.
Simon Oakes from Exclusive added, “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.”
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 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).
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.