Hammer comes back from the dead

Studio starts production again after 30 year break

LONDON — Iconic Brit horror banner Hammer Films has started principal photography on its first feature in nearly three decades.

“The Wake Wood,” a chiller about a couple grieving the death of their 9-year-old daughter who discover a pagan ritual that would allow them three more days with her, stars Aidan Gillen (“The Wire”), Eva Birthistle (“Middletown”) and Timothy Spall (“Appaloosa”).

David Keating is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Brendan McCarthy.

McCarthy is also producing the pic along with John McDonnell through their Fantastic Films banner.

Hammer Films chief exec Simon Oakes and Guy East are exec producing.

Lensing started Monday on location in Ireland.

Vertigo Films has acquired U.K. rights to pic, which is slated for release in fall 2009.

The Irish Film Board is co-funding along with Hammer, which was re-launched last year. Banner has a development slate of 25 projects and is planning to produce six to eight features a year once it’s fully up and running.