On this past Friday the 13th, it was announced that Oscar-winning actress Hellen Mirren will play the leading role of Sarah Winchester in a new thriller called "Winchester." The movie is based on the story of Sarah Winchester, the eccentric heir to the Winchester fortune that built the 600-room mansion now known as the Winchester Mystery House (San Jose's #1 tourist attraction).
Production is expected to begin in early 2017 and will be shot on location in San Jose as well as Australia. For more details read the full release below.
HELEN MIRREN TAKES AIM AT THE ROLE OF WINCHESTER RIFLE HEIRESS, SARAH WINCHESTER, IN THE SPIERIG BROTHERS’ NEW THRILLER ‘WINCHESTER’
Friday, May 13, Cannes, France – Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren is finalizing a deal to play Sarah Winchester, the millionaire heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune in the Spierig Brothers new thriller WINCHESTER.
The story follows the Sarah Winchester, who was convinced that she and her family were haunted by the souls killed at the barrel of the infamous rifle. Her real-life obsession led to the 24 hour a day, 7 days a week construction of an enormous 600-room mansion, designed to keep these evil spirits at bay. Her home, the Winchester Mystery House, still stands today and has been named one of the “Most Haunted Places in the World” by Time Magazine. Studio System News (SSN) called the house one of the top “haunted house properties ready to scare up audiences.”
Michael and Peter Spierig were announced at Cannes this week as the writer/directors of the film based on a script first penned by writer, Tom Vaughan.
Diamond Pictures and Bullitt Entertainment are co-financing with Australia’s Blacklab Entertainment, with Diamond selling international territories and WME brokering the US rights deal.
IDW’s Brett Matthew Tomberlin and Blacklab’s Tim McGahan are producing, with Bullitt’s Benedict Carver, Diamond’s Daniel Diamond and Tobin Armbrust as executive producers. Andy Trapani, Toni Lianos, Brian Gilbert, Marc Shipper and Simon Oakes are also executive producers.
Production is expected to start in early 2017 shooting at the historic house in San Jose, California and in Australia.
Mirren is repped by CAA; IDW is repped by Michael Black Management and Mark Temple Law, and Blacklab by Marshalls+Dent Lawyers. Sheppard Mullin brokered the deal for Diamond and Bullitt.
About Winchester Mystery House:
A 160-room Victorian wonder, The Winchester Mystery House is one of California’s original and most popular historic attractions. Since opening to the public in 1923, the house has welcomed nearly 12 million people from around the world and has taken its rightful place in American legend. Popular belief holds that Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by her family’s invention. Following a medium’s advice, Sarah built a massive house in Northern California to appease the spirits. For the next 38 years, she never stopped building believing that if she continued, she would live forever, and if she stopped, she would die. Known as the “house built for the spirits,” there have been many inexplicable ghost sightings there and to this day, visitors share their paranormal stories of having been in the presence of these departed souls who continue to roam the grounds of the labyrinth-like house. Various tours are offered daily with popular annual events including Friday the 13th Flashlight Tours (May 16, 2016), Summer Twilight Evenings (July), Halloween Candlelight Tours (October) and The Spirit of Christmas (December).