'Wicker Man' followup to be released in U.S. in 2012

Anchor Bay Films has acquired domestic and U.K. rights to horror pic “The Wicker Tree,” helmer Robin Hardy’s follow-up to his original 1973 scarer “The Wicker Man.”

Distrib plans to release the film theatrically in the U.S. during first-quarter 2012.

“Wicker Tree,” produced by Peter Watson-Wood and Peter Snell’s U.K.-based company British Lion, is based on Hardy’s novel “Cowboys and Christ.” Pic follows two evangelists from Texas, played by Brittania Nicol and Henry Garrett, who visit Scotland to spread the gospel. They encounter a local man practicing ancient magic with sinister motives.

Pic co-stars Graham McTavish with a cameo appearance by “Wicker Man” star Christopher Lee.

“The original ‘Wicker Man’ set a standard for literate horror cinema that is still unsurpassed,” said Anchor Bay prexy Bill Clark. “Now, with ‘The Wicker Tree,’ we’re thrilled to present the follow-up of this haunting tale to a new generation.”

Clark negotiated the deal, alongside Anchor Bay’s Kevin Kasha and Marc Barson, with Snell on behalf of British Lion.

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