Harry Potter actor celebrates end of franchise with lead role in Hammer horror adaptation of Susan Hill ghost story.
The future looks black for Daniel Radcliffe, whose long-running stint with the Harry Potter film franchise draws to an end this year. Happily, the 20-year-old actor has his next move plotted out: he is poised to star in a Hammer horror adaptation of The Woman in Black.
Radcliffe will take the lead role of Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer who uncovers the secrets of an old dark house. The film has been scripted by Kick-Ass's Jane Goldman and will be directed by Eden Lake's James Watkins. Production is due to begin this autumn.
"I am incredibly excited to be part of The Woman in Black," Radcliffe said. "Jane Goldman's script is beautifully written - both tender and terrifying in equal measure. It is thrilling to be working with James Watkins. From his brilliant work on Eden Lake, and also having met him, I know he will make a fantastic film."
Radcliffe's enthusiasm appears to be contagious. "When I met Dan, it was quite uncanny how closely our thoughts on the story mirrored each other," said Watkins. "I can't wait to get down to work with him."
Based on the 1983 bestseller by Susan Hill, The Woman in Black is set in a haunted village on the east coast of England. Hill's tale inspired a 1989 TV movie as well as a hugely successful London stage-play.
The big-screen version is a co-production between Alliance Films and Hammer. Originally established in the 1930s, Hammer Films gave rise to the likes of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein and The Quatermass Experiment before falling on hard times in the 80s. Now resurrected, the studio has various films in the pipeline, including the Hilary Swank drama The Resident, and the vampire love story Let Me In, a US-based remake of the acclaimed 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In.
The Broadway premiere of David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre, starring Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight will begin previews on September 21st, 2010 and officially open on Tuesday, October 12th at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 W. 45th St.). Its limited engagement will play through January 2nd, 2011, making it the first show to announce its closing in 2011.
A Life in the Theatre will be directed by Neil Pepe, who directed the acclaimed revival of Mamet's Speed-The-Plow on Broadway last season, and feature scenic design by Santo Loquasto (Race, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo), lighting design by Kenneth Posner (The Coast of Utopia, Wicked, Hairspray), and costume design by Laura Bauer (Talk Radio, Glengarry Glen Ross, Talk Radio).
A Life in the Theatre made its world premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago in February of 1977 with Mike Nussbaum and Joe Mantegna and directed by Gregory Mosher. The play first opened off-Broadway on October 20, 1977 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and ran for 288 performances. That production was directed by Gerald Gutierrez and starred Peter Evans and Ellis Rabb.
Mel Gussow of The New York Times said: "Though the work has serious undertones, it is first of all a comedy - and Mr. Mamet's language glistens. His writing is a cross between the elegant and the vernacular, an ironic combination that is uniquely his own...He is an eloquent master of two-part harmony. An abundantly gifted playwright, he brings new life to the theater."
Describing life in the footlights from an actor's point of view, A Life in the Theatre focuses on the relationship between two thespians: Robert, an older, experienced performer; and John, a relative newcomer. Though Robert's guidance is welcomed by John at first, as the play progresses Robert falters as an actor and mentor, and John emerges as a mature actor. Mamet was inspired to write A Life in the Theatre by what he had observed backstage as well as by his own experiences in his early career as an actor.
A Life in the Theatre will be produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler, the lead producers of the current Race and recent production of Speed-The-Plow
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