"Harry Potter" hero Daniel Radcliffe is set to star in Hammer Films' gothic thriller "The Woman in Black," the actor's publicist has confirmed to TheWrap.
James Watkins ("Eden Lake") will direct from a script by Jane Goldman ("Kick-Ass").
The supernatural story follows a young lawyer who travels to a remote corner of the U.K. to sort out a recently deceased client's papers. As he works alone in the client's old, secluded home, he begins to uncover dark secrets of the house. His unease grows when he discovers that the local village is held hostage by the ghost of a scorned woman dressed in black who is set on vegeance.
This is a smart move for Radcliffe. He's a movie star whether he's playing everyone's favorite bespectacled boy wizard or not, and I like that he's lending his clout to a genre film that should help resurrect the once-prestigious Hammer label.
"The Woman in Black" is based on Susan Hill's 1983 best-selling novel, which has been adapted as a long-running stage play and a TV movie.
Hammer's parent company, Exclusive Media Group, is co-financing with Canadian distributor Alliance Films.
Hammer's Simon Oakes will produce with Richard Jackson of Talisman Films, while Exclusive's Nigel Sinclair and Guy East will exec produce with Vertigo Entertainment's Roy Lee.
Production is expected to begin this fall.
Hammer had announced at Cannes that the film would be produced in 3D, but those plans have wisely been put on hold for the moment, as the material doesn't seem to really merit the special treatment ... or the ticket surcharge.
Hammer Films has Matt Reeves' vampire remake "Let Me In" in post-production, as well as the Hilary Swank-Jeffrey Dean Morgan thriller "The Resident." Additionally, Exclusive has Peter Weir's "The Way Back" due in time for awards season.
Radcliffe recently attached himself to a big-screen adaptation of "All Quiet on the Western Front." The 20-year-old actor also is set to return to Broadway next spring in the musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."
Warner Bros. will release "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I" on Nov. 19, while "Part II" won't debut until July 15, 2011.
Radcliffe is represented by Artists Rights Group.