The U.K.’s Network Distributing has sealed a deal with iconic British horror label Hammer Films to form Hammer Studios Ltd.
Network’s managing director Tim Beddows and financial director Jonathan Lack and Hammer CEO Simon Oakes will head the new company.
The new entity will manage and control Hammer’s interests in its vast library of content such as “The Woman in Black” (2012), “Let Me In” (2010), “Dracula” (1958), “The Abominable Snowman” (1957) and “The Quatermass Experiment” (1953). Hammer Studios will invest substantially both in restoration and new production development from both its owned and newly created IP.
The restoration plans are in keeping with Network’s ethos, as it is a well-known brand for film aficionados, mining the vaults of TV companies and film studios since 1997, unearthing cult programs and films and making them available on home video and digital formats.
Network’s restoration of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” “The Prisoner” and hundreds of British films released under The British Film imprint have made them an important destination for film collectors. It has also worked with ITV, BBC, ITC, Fremantle, Studiocanal and many others for more than 3000 releases.
Meanwhile, Hammer, which started in 1934, continues production, with its last release being “The Lodge” (2020).
Beddows said: “This partnership is a really exciting opportunity to merge Hammer’s amazing library with Network’s infrastructure. Whilst we work our way through restoring its entire back catalogue for future generations’ enjoyment, we’re equally excited about the development of new productions from the Hammer canon.”
Oakes added: “This new partnership will, for the first time, professionalize the restoration and creation of elements that are essential for distribution of the Hammer library across all media. At the same time we will, with Network, be able to build on the legacy of Britain’s most iconic film brand, one that started in 1934 and is alive and kicking in 2021.”