Winners and Losers, Stage 3
CBS Films has announced the start of production of this supernatural thriller in Melbourne.
LOS ANGELES – March 15, 2017 – CBS Films announced today that principal photography on the supernatural thriller WINCHESTER has commenced in Melbourne. 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 film is being directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (Predestination) based on their screenplay. Blacklab Entertainment’s Tim McGahan and Imagination Design Works’ Brett Tomberlin are producing. In addition to Melbourne and the Docklands Studios, the film will also shoot on location at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.
The film is being financed by Eclipse Pictures and Blacklab Entertainment and has secured Screen Australia major production investment, with assistance from Film Victoria (Production Incentive Attraction Fund) and Screen Queensland (Production Investment). WINCHESTER is distributed in Australia & NZ by StudioCanal. CBS will distribute in the U.S., and Eclipse is handling international sales with Eclipse’s Benedict Carver and Daniel Diamond acting as executive producers.
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. In addition to Mirren and Clarke, Sarah Snook (The Dressmaker, The Glass Castle) and Angus Sampson (Insidious, TV’s Fargo) have joined the cast.
Tobin Ambrust, Andy Trapani, Toni Lianos, Brian Gilbert, Marc Shipper and Simon Oakes are also executive producing.
About The Winchester House
For nearly 100 years, the Winchester Mystery House has stood as a testament to ingenuity, persistence of vision and lore that surrounds its namesake, Sarah Winchester (heir to the Winchester Repeating Rifle fortune). A true pioneer who crisscrossed the United States via steam train many times during the waning days of the “wild west,” Sarah Winchester lives on in legend as a grieving widow who continuously built onto her small farm house to appease the spirits of those killed by the guns manufactured by her husband’s firearms company.
Sarah Winchester’s grand mansion is renowned for its many architectural curiosities and paranormal activity (In 2008 TIME magazine cited it among the “Top 10 Haunted Places”). From 1884-1922 construction never ceased as the original farm house grew into the world’s most unusual and labyrinth-mansion (24,000 square feet built at a then astronomical cost of $5 million), featuring: 160 rooms (either frozen in a state of arrested decay or resplendent in Victorian grandeur), 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 9 kitchens, 13 bathrooms, plus 47 stairways and fireplaces.
The estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a California Historic State Landmark, a San Jose City Landmark and one of the leading attractions in the Bay Area.
It has welcomed Hollywood heavyweights, dressmakers and penguin wranglers – and now economist and strategy expert David Hanna will join the team of Docklands Studios Melbourne as the new Chair of the Board.
Announcing the appointment today, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said Mr Hanna’s high level strategic and international experience will put him in good stead to lead the next stage of growth for the publicly-owned studio facility.
Currently the Director of Business Strategy at Monash University, Mr Hanna has more than 30 years’ experience in the public sector in Victoria and Canberra. He has also lived and worked in many parts of Asia.
He has a strong connection to film and has been a longstanding committee member for Film Victoria’s Production Incentive Attraction Fund – which provides government grants to attract productions to Victoria. He is also a member of the Course Advisory Committee for the VCA’s School of Film and Television.
Prior to his Monash appointment, Mr Hanna held a variety of senior management positions in the Victorian and Australian Governments with a focus on economic development, international policy, trade and innovation.
Since opening in 2004, Docklands Studios Melbourne has hosted local and international productions that have brought more than $800 million into the Victorian economy.
In recent years, its five sound stages have hosted a mix of domestic and international productions including the hit Australian film The Dressmaker, the NBC Universal mini-series Childhood’s End and the Nine Network’s Millionaire Hot Seat and The Footy Show.
Mr Hanna will take over the role from former senior executive Elizabeth Eldridge, who has served as Chair since the Victorian Government took ownership of the studios in 2008. Ms Eldridge steered the studios through a critical transition, helping to raise their domestic and international profile.
The Board of Directors also includes public relations and marketing executive Ann Fletcher-Nicholls and former Melbourne Lord Mayor, and Melbourne International Film Festival Chair, Desmond Clark.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said, “Productions filmed at the Docklands Studios generate jobs and skills for local screen workers and bring flow-on benefits for local businesses in construction, catering, transport and tourism.”
“David comes to the role with a wealth of experience and a passion for film and I look forward to working with him as we take Docklands Studios Melbourne into the next era.”
Incoming Docklands Studios Melbourne Chair David Hanna said, “I’m delighted to be taking on this role at what is an exciting time for local film and television production.”
“Docklands Studios Melbourne is a vital part of our screen industry here in Victoria with a great team running it and a strong slate of productions in the pipeline for the year ahead.”
Docklands Studios Melbourne thanks outgoing Chair Elizabeth Eldridge for her tireless work and leadership.
Docklands Studios Melbourne announced today that 2014, the Studios’ 10th anniversary year, has been its most successful year since the State Government assumed ownership in 2008.
Underpinning this year’s success is the mix of projects that have come through its five sound stages, production offices and onsite workshop.
US Sci-Fi TV mini-series Childhood’s End, based on the classic Arthur C. Clarke novel, will shoot in Melbourne’s Dockland Studios over 13 weeks in 2014 and 2015.
Minister for online slots Innovation Louise Asher today announced that the Universal Cable Productions series, a division of NBC Universal, had been secured through Film Victoria with Victorian Government support. The six-hour miniseries will premiere on Syfy in the U.S. in 2015.
Docklands Studios Melbourne celebrates its 10th anniversary in April 2014. With a site comprising five purpose-built, world-class sound stages, production offices and a large workshop, the Studio plays a critical role in attracting domestic and international productions to Victoria and has accumulated a list of enviable credits in its first ten years of operation.
Docklands Studios Melbourne announces a significant upgrade to Stage 5, a renovation of the existing Workshop and an improved security entrance to the Studios on Docklands Drive. The building works, made possible by a $10 million investment by the Victorian Government, further enhance the Studios’ reputation as Victoria’s premier live television facility.