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Hammer Films Options ‘The Woman in Black’

Ghost story script is being written by “Kick-Ass” screenwriter

Hammer Films has optioned feature film rights to Susan Hill’s best-selling ghost story novel, “The Woman in Black”, and will produce a feature film adaptation with Talisman Films, the studio announced. The fabled British horror movie studio is owned by Exclusive Media Group.

Jane Goldman (“Stardust,” Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming “Kick-Ass”) is penning the screenplay and James Watkins (“Eden Lake,” and the upcoming “Methuselah” for Warner Bros.) will direct.

The story follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who is ordered to travel to a remote village and sort out a recently deceased client’s papers. As he works in the client’s isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover secrets, his unease growing when he glimpses a mysterious woman dressed only in black. Met with silence from the locals, Kipps is forced to uncover the true identity of the Woman in Black.

“’The Woman in Black’ is an iconic British horror story, and so makes a perfect match for Hammer," Hammer President & CEO Simon Oake said in a statement. "Jane Goldman has written a terrific screenplay and with James Watkins at the helm, we feel that this feature adaptation of Susan Hill’s classic novel will be both dynamic and terrifying.”

Oakes and Richard Jackson of Talisman Films will produce the picture. Nigel Sinclair and Guy East will serve as executive producers for Hammer. Roy Lee and Doug Davison’s Vertigo Entertainment (“The Grudge,” “The Ring”) are also attached, with Roy Lee serving as an executive producer.

Exclusive Film Distribution is handling worldwide sales and distribution, and will be representing the film at the forthcoming EFM in Berlin.