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CBS Films Buys Helen Mirren’s ‘Winchester’ Movie

CBS Films announced has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Helen Mirren’s drama “Winchester” from Bullitt Entertainment and Diamond Pictures.

The film is being directed by brothers Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (“Predestination”), who wrote the screenplay with Tom Vaughan. Producers are Imagination Design Works’ Brett Tomberlin and Blacklab Entertainment’s Tim McGahan.

Mirren will play firearm heiress Sarah Winchester, who was convinced that she was haunted by the souls killed at the hands of the Winchester repeating rifle. After the sudden deaths of her husband and child, she threw herself into the 24-hour a day, seven days a week construction of an enormous mansion designed to keep the evil spirits at bay. But when a skeptic is dispatched to the estate to evaluate her state of mind, he discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all.

“We were immediately obsessed with the Spierig brothers intelligent and twisted take on a great American legend and could not be more excited to be working with the Spierig brothers and Dame Helen Mirren to bring this film to audiences,” said CBS Films exec Scott Shooman.

The film is financed by Bullitt Entertainment, Diamond Pictures and Blacklab Entertainment, with Diamond Pictures handling international sales. Bullitt’s Benedict Carver, Diamond’s Daniel Diamond and Tobin Armbrust are executive producing. Andy Trapani, Toni Lianos, Brian Gilbert, Marc Shipper and Simon Oakes also will serve as executive producers.

Production will begin in March on location in San Jose and in Australia.

Construction at the Winchester mansion in San Jose, Calif., went on continuously from 1884 to 1922 as the original farm house grew into the world’s most unusual and labyrinth-mansion (24,000 square feet built at a cost of $5 million), featuring: 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 9 kitchens, 13 bathrooms, plus 47 stairways and fireplaces.

The estate is list on the National Register of Historic Places, is a California Historic State Landmark and a San Jose City Landmark. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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