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IFC Midnight has acquired North American rights to the supernatural thriller Ghost Stories, based on the Olivier-nominated stage production, co-written and directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman and having its world premiere Thursday at the BFI London Film Festival.
Nyman also leads the cast, reprising his role as Professor Goodman alongside Paul Whitehouse (The Death of Stalin, Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland), Alex Lawther (The Imitation Game, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Black Mirror) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit franchise, Captain America: Civil War, Fargo and Sherlock).
Professor Phillip Goodman, psychologist and arch-sceptic, has his rationality tested to the hilt when he stumbles across a long-lost file containing details of three terrifying “hauntings.” Shaken by what he reads, Goodman embarks on a mission to find rational explanations for these ghostly stories.
As Goodman investigates, he meets three tormented people, each with a tale more frightening, uncanny and inexplicable than the last. Night-watchman Tony Matthews had a horrifying encounter in an empty warehouse and it has haunted him for years. Teenager Simon Rifkind took a late-night drive that has rendered him unable to sleep. Mike Priddle, a brash banker, has had his worldview shaken to the core by unquiet spirits that apparently inhabit his otherwise perfect existence.
As Goodman digs into their stories, his carefully maintained and rational world starts to dissolve around him. Is it a trick of the mind or are darker forces at work? Gradually Goodman is drawn towards the unearthing of a long-buried secret that will pull his life, and everything he thought he knew, apart.
Dyson is best known as a member of sketch comedy team The League of Gentlemen along with Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, which started as a stage act and went on to become a BAFTA Award-winning TV series. He also co-wrote and directed Sky Arts hit series Psychobitches, which won the 2015 Rose d’Or for best comedy.
Nyman’s acting career has included roles in many films including Death at a Funeral, Kick-Ass 2, Severance, Automata and Black Death. Nyman is a co-writer and director of magician and illusionist Derren Brown’s TV and stage shows including Russian Roulette, Seance, and Messiah. Their collaborations have been nominated for and won both BAFTA and Olivier awards.
The film is produced for Warp Films by Claire Jones (Sightseers, Kill List), and Robin Gutch (’71, Kill List) and is backed by Ultimate Pictures and Screen Yorkshire.
Catalyst Global Media and Screen Yorkshire serve as executive producers. Altitude Film Sales is handling worldwide sales. Lionsgate will distribute the film in the U.K./Eire in spring 2018.
The deal was negotiated by Altitude’s Mike Runagall on behalf of the filmmakers with Arianna Bocco of IFC Films.
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