Hammer Films, the U.K.-based company that reigned supreme in the 1940s as purveyor of gothic horror tales and thrillers, is being acquired by Richard and Lauren Schuler-Donner’s Warner Bros.-based production company, sources said Thursday.
The library was partly owned by London-based Majestic Films Intl., which handled overseas distribution of Kenneth Branagh’s “Henry V” and Bernd Eichinger’s “Last Exit to Brooklyn.”
The sale reportedly includes more than 200 titles, including such esoteric creature-feature classics as “Mantrap,””Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell” and “Quartermass Experiment,” and features genre pioneers Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
Sources expected the new owners to dust off some little-known gems for theatrical and TV release.
Indeed, the Donners reportedly have been busy recruiting writing talent in the last two weeks to do just that, sources noted. Among the first to be doctored for the present is “The Stolen Face,” described by sources as a film noir thriller.
The Donners and WB brass could not be reached for comment.