Growing up on the San Francisco Peninsula during the '70s, I am well aware of the ominous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose and recall driving down Highway 101 and seeing the looming roofs and gables of the magnificent mansion every time we'd travel south. Even then, my geeky teen brain always thought the story would make an amazing feature film, yet the historic home remained forbidden territory for Hollywood for some reason ... until now!
Michael and Peter Spierig, the directors of October's Saw: Legacy, are setting up creative residence at the Winchester Mystery House and currently filming a new movie titled Winchester in Melbourne, Australia, for CBS Films, based on the maze-like mansion's supernatural legacy. Starring Academy Award winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Eye in the Sky) and Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Zero Dark Thirty) the Spierig Brothers (Daybreakers, Predestination) will head back to the states later in the shooting schedule this May and film at the real the Victorian landmark.
Here's the official synopsis:
The film follows the story of firearm heiress Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), 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-hours a day, seven days a week construction of an enormous mansion designed to keep the evil spirits at bay. But when skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist Eric Price (Jason Clarke) is dispatched to the estate to evaluate her state of mind, he discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all. Winchester will take audiences inside the labyrinth-like house that is believed to be one of the most haunted places in the world.
Originally built in 1884 by Sarah Winchester, the unstable widow of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company family's William Wirt Winchester, the sprawling house is a labyrinthine wonder.
She was told by a medium that her life would be harassed by the ghosts of all the persons killed by her husband's firearms if she ever stopped construction of her home, so for 38 years, contractors and carpenters worked 24-hours a day adding on rooms, balconies, fireplaces, stairways that lead nowhere, hidden chambers, closets and false doorways to help ward off angry phantasms. Winchester died in 1922 and the home became a historical landmark and popular area tourist attraction.
This new film project based on the haunted house will focus on the relationship between Mirren's Winchester and the Clarke's psychiatrist who attempts to cure her of her madness. No trailers or stills for Winchester have appeared yet but we'll keep you updated when they make their presence known.
(Via Bloody Disgusting)