Michael and Peter Spierig have in their crosshairs the Hammer Films’ supernatural thriller Winchester, about an heir to that firearms family fortune who believes she has been cursed by the victims and the lethal legacy of the “gun that won the West.”
The Spierig siblings will rewrite to direct the film, which will be shot in the world-famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. The story revolves around heir Sarah Winchester, who in 1884 began 38 years of construction on the 24,000-square-foot, 160-room Gothic mansion. It was after the sudden deaths of her husband and child that Winchester began to believe she was cursed by the family legacy, and she was instructed to build the mansion by a spiritualist medium, to appease the spirits. She never stopped building. Even though it’s a period film, I can’t imagine it will a favorite of the NRA, whose lobbying and money has kept gun makers from being held accountable to the bloodshed from their wares.
Tom Vaughan wrote the original draft. Hammer execs are eyeing an early 2015 start date. “We can’t wait to see what the Spierig brothers unearth as they delve in to the mysteries of Sarah Winchester and her infamous haunted house,” said Tobin Armbrust of Hammer Films. “As the first feature film ever shot inside the Winchester Mystery House, we are excited to have these fantastic filmmakers bring their unique vision to the table.”
The Spierig brothers most recently wrapped the Ethan Hawke starrer Predestination at Sony and they teamed previously with Hawke on Lionsgate’s Daybreakers. Their breakout was the 2003 zombie film Undead. Armbrust and Simon Oakes are producing for Hammer, and Brett Matthew Tomberlin and Antonia Lianos of Imagination Design Works, are also producing with Andrew Trapani and Brian Gilbert of Nine/8 Entertainment. WME and Lou Pitt’s Pitt Group reps the directors and Alexa Pagonas of Michael Black Management rep Hammer with attorney Leisha Mack.