Helen Mirren Closing Deal to Star in Winchester

Word came earlier this week that Winchester, a film based on the legend of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA, that was first announced back in April, 2012(!), has finally received financing with the Spierig brothers set to write and direct; and now it looks like an A-list star will be portraying the main character, heiress Sarah Winchester.  Who could it be?  Read on for the info!

Per Deadline, Oscar winner Helen Mirren is closing a deal to portray the conflicted multimillionaire heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune. The supernatural thriller is expected to begin production early next year, filming both in the Winchester Mystery House itself and in Australia.  Michael and Peter Spierig penned the most recent draft of the script after Tom Vaughan wrote the first draft. The film is set for financing by Diamond Pictures and Bullitt Entertainment, and territories will be sold in the Cannes Market, which is currently under way. It was developed by Imagination Design Works, which owns the rights to the house and is allowing a film crew to shoot on the premises – a first!

IDW’s Brett Tomberlin and Blacklab’s Tim McGahan are producing, with Bullitt’s Benedict Carver, Diamond’s Daniel Diamond, and Tobin Armbrust as exec producers. Andy Trapani, Tony Lianos, Brian Gilbert, Marc Shipper, and Simon Oakes are also exec producers.

Diamond and Bullitt are co-financing with Australia’s Blacklab Entertainment, with Diamond selling international territories and WME brokering the U.S. rights deal.

More About the Winchester Mystery House:
The Winchester Mystery House has a startling history and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. Popular belief holds that Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by her family’s guns. Following a medium’s advice, Sarah built a massive house in Northern California to appease the spirits. For the next 38 years she never stopped building, believing that if she continued, she would live forever, and if she stopped, she would die. Known as the “house built for the spirits,” there have been many inexplicable ghost sightings there, and to this day visitors share their terrifying stories of having been in the presence of these departed souls who continue to roam the grounds of the intricate and enigmatic house.

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