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Winchester House to become Hammer thriller

California Victorian mansion is said to be haunted

Hammer is heading to the Winchester Mystery House, picking up feature rights to make a supernatural thriller with Imagination Design Works and Nine/8 Entertainment about what’s marketed as the “world’s most haunted house.”

Built by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, the Victorian mansion in San Jose, Calif., was under construction around the clock from 1884 until her death in 1922. It’s believed that Winchester was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by “the gun that won the west” and believed that if she continued building the house, she would live forever.

Deal was announced by Simon Oakes, vice chairman of Exclusive Media and president and CEO of Hammer, and Exclusive Media co-chairmen Guy East and Nigel Sinclair. Brett Tomberlin and Antonia Lianos will produce for IDW along with Andrew Trapani and Brian Gilbert for Nine/8.

IDW organizes the Fright Night event held at the house in October. Trapani previously produced “The Haunting in Connecticut” for Lionsgate and is developing supernatural thriller “Candle” and a John DeLorean biopic.

Gilbert’s film credits include the horror film “Wrong Turn,” “The Chosen One” and “The Deaths of Ian Stone.” Trapani and Gilbert are exec producing a TV series about William Wallace.

Exclusive Media’s recent films include “The Woman in Black” and “The Ides of March” while upcoming titles include race-car drama “Rush,” starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl; “End of Watch”; “Snitch”; and “So Undercover.” Hammer productions in the works include “The Quiet Ones,” “Boneshaker,” “Gaslight” and “The Woman in Black: Angels of Death,” to be produced with Talisman, Cross Creek Pictures and Alliance Films.

IDW is represented by Alexa Pagonas at Michael Black Management.

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