The Spierig Brothers' supernatural thriller Winchester will start filming in early 2017 with Dame Helen Mirren leading the cast.
The Oscar- Golden Globe- Emmy- BAFTA winning actress will play Sarah Winchester, the millionaire heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune, who following the sudden deaths of her husband and child, believed she was haunted by the souls killed at the barrel of the Winchester repeating rifle.
She threw herself into the 24-hour a day, seven days a week construction of an enormous 160-room mansion designed to keep the evil spirits at bay. But when skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist Eric Price is dispatched to the estate to evaluate her state of mind, he discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all.
Filming on Winchester will begin at Melbourne's Docklands Studios and surrounds, before heading to shoot on location at Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.
The film has received production investment from Screen Australia and Screen Queensland and Film Victoria's Production Incentive Attraction Fund.
"There have been few haunted house stories that have captured our imaginations quite like the legend of the Winchester House," said the Spierig brothers.
"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," said Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia.
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.
Film Victoria CEO Jenni Tosi 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.”
Congrats Michael and Peter Spierig!