Hammer Films resurrected with 'Wake Wood'

First horror pic in production in more than 30 years

LONDON -- Legendary British production banner Hammer Films is back in the business of making pictures, with "The Wake Wood" going before cameras this week.

The label, owned by Jon de Mol's Dutch investment vehicle Cyrte Investments, is returning to the horror genre that made its name with "Wood" more than 30 years after it last produced a fright fest in 1976 with "To the Devil a Daughter."

Timothy Spall, Aidan Gillen and Eva Birthistle star in the movie, directed by David Keating from a screenplay he co-wrote with Brendan McCarthy, who came up with the original story.

It revolves around grieving parents who are given the opportunity to spend three more days with their only daughter after she is killed by a savage dog.

Hammer Films chairman and CEO Simon Oakes said Monday that the movie will shoot in Ireland and is backed by funds from the Irish Film Board. Vertigo Films has scared up U.K. distribution rights and is eyeing a fall 2009 release.

McCarthy is producing the film along with John McDonnell through the duo's Fantastic Films banner with Oakes and Guy East exec producing.

After the formation of Cyrte-parented HS Media, which also encompasses the Los Angeles based Spitfire Pictures, Hammer is now upping development, production, financing and distribution of film, television and digital platform content.
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