WINCHESTER, the new supernatural thriller from Peter and Michael Spierig (Predestination), today announced production would commence early 2017 following confirmation of Screen Australia Production Investment. Oscar®-winning actress Helen Mirren will play the role of Sarah Winchester, millionaire heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune who designed and built the renowned Winchester Mystery House.
Produced by Blacklab Entertainment’s Tim McGahan (Predestination) and Imagination Design Works’ Brett Tomberlin, WINCHESTER has secured Screen Australia Production Investment, with assistance from Film Victoria’s Production Incentive Attraction Fund and Production Investment from Screen Queensland. Australian/NZ distributor is StudioCanal. International sales by Diamond Pictures, Bullitt Entertainment and US Distribution confirmed via CBS Films.
Producer Tim McGahan said “This is such a great story and we are delighted to have the full support of Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Screen Queensland to help bring it to the screen.”
“Screen Australia is thrilled to be co-funding Winchester, which gives the Spierig brothers a chance to work with A-List international talent including Helen Mirren,” said Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia. “Films like Winchester telegraph to the international market the breadth of films that can be made in Australia, using not only our locations but our creative and producing talent.”
Writer/directors Peter and Michael Spierig said “There have been few haunted house stories that have captured our imaginations quite like the legend of the Winchester House. Sarah Winchester was an eccentric pioneer, an inventor, a woman plagued by her family’s legacy, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have Helen Mirren bring this fascinating character to life “.
WINCHESTER will shoot in Melbourne, Docklands Studios and surrounds in early 2017 before shooting on location at the real Winchester Mystery House, widely thought to be one of the most haunted houses in the world.
Jenni Tosi, CEO Film Victoria said: “We’re delighted the Spierig brothers will be back in Melbourne with their next film Winchester, and will again be working with our talented cast and crews. We’re equally thrilled to welcome the peerless Dame Helen Mirren to Melbourne, and hope she’ll also have time to experience our world-renowned culture and cuisine.”
Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira said “We are thrilled to be supporting Queensland-based producer Tim McGahan and Queenslander Writer-Director team, Peter and Michael Spierig, on Winchester. The production will spend over $3.5 million in Queensland with picture, sound and visual fx post production taking place at Queensland-based Cutting Edge.
We are proud of the success of the Spierigs and along with Tim, for the critical and commercial success they achieved with their last feature, Predestination, also supported by SQ. There is already considerable market interest in Winchester following the Cannes Film Market and we anticipate there will be good representation of Queenslanders in the heads of department. Winchester will again put the global spotlight on Queensland talent and bring huge long-term benefits to our state,” she said.
Chief Executive of STUDIOCANAL Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth Trotman said “A fascinating and rousing story led by the wonderful Helen Mirren, this exciting production is sure to be a thrill. We look forward to bringing it to audiences in Australia and New Zealand with great anticipation.”