Alan Rickman Boards Gothic Murder Mystery 'The Limehouse Golem'

Alan Rickman

Lionsgate takes U.K. rights for the upcoming Victorian-era thriller adapted by 'The Woman in Black' screenwriter Jane Goldman.

Fresh from inspecting Kate Winslet’s roses in his self-directed A Little Chaos, which is released in the U.K. today, Alan Rickman has now been lined up to star in a far less flowery drama.

The Limehouse Golem, based on Peter Ackroyd’s 1994 novel, is a gothic murder mystery set in Victorian-era London. Produced by Number 9 Films, the project has now been picked up by Lionsgate for U.K. distribution, with the film’s worldwide sales agent, HanWay Films, inking the deal.

Alongside Rickman, rising British names Douglas Booth (The Riot Club) and Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) will also star, with Juan Carlos Medina directing based on a screenplay by Jane Goldman, whose latest film, Michael Vaughn’s spy actioner Kingsman: The Secret Service, has now topped $300 million internationally.

The story sees a series of gruesome murders shake the community in the dangerous Limehouse district of London in 1880, leading to claims that they’re the work of the Golem, a legendary mythical creature. The original novel features appearances from real-life figures including Karl Marx and novelist George Gissing.

"Having recently worked with these three very talented British actors separately we’re excited to see them onscreen together on what we think will be a chilling adaptation of this popular novel," said Lionsgate’s U.K. CEO Zygi Kamasa. "We eagerly anticipate seeing how this team brings to life Jane and Juan’s work.”

Number 9 Films’ Stephen Woolley, who is producing alongside Elizabeth Karlsen (Carol) and Joanna Laurie, said that the story offered a "more sensational twist than The Crying Game."

"Having two films in competition in Cannes this year is a total thrill for Elizabeth and me, and we are privileged to be once again working with world-class filmmakers like Alan Rickman and Jane Goldman and the sensational director, Juan Carlos Medina, and stars of the future Olivia Cooke and Douglas Booth on this Gothic masterpiece,” he added.

HanWay Films managing director Thorsten Schumacher said that Goldman had created a "gripping and twisting adaptation" of the crime thriller.

"Having Lionsgate join us for the journey early on further validates and ensures the commercial outlook of the Golem," he said.