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We hope you’re ready for more thoughtful British frights, because Relativity has acquired the US distribution rights to The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death.
A Deadline piece reveals that the company has made a seven-figure pact with the resurgent Hammer Films and eOne at the Toronto International Film Festival to bring the follow-up to the 2012 horror hit to America. The first film raked in $128 million globally, thanks to the presence of a post-Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe in the leading role.
The sequel -- directed by Tom Harper -- is already complete, so Relativity will just have to decide when they plan to place it in theaters. Radcliffe, who appears to enjoy working in genre efforts (he’s due to appear in High Tension director Alexandre Aja’s Horns next month), won’t be back for a second go round with the spectral woman of the title. Instead, the new cast is headlined by Jeremy Irvine and Helen McCroy.
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death picks up four decades after the original film ended, with a group of children evacuated from London during World War II and brought to stay at Eel Marsh House, the original title’s haunted abode. The kids re-awaken the house’s most dangerous inhabitant and Hell breaks loose.
The first official trailer for the film debuted last month. While it’s more of a teaser than a proper preview clip, it does a nice job of re-establishing the creepy ambiance and period detail of the first entry.
Relativity apparently enjoys heading to The Toronto International Film Festival in search of potential horror hits. Last year, the distributor scored the rights to fright flick Oculus, which went on to become the highest grossing title from that year’s crop of acquisitions. They’re clearly banking on something similar happening with a The Woman in Black sequel. Normally, without Daniel Radcliffe returning, we’d be a bit skeptical about how the follow-up might fare.
However, given the involvement of Hammer Films – one of the all-time classic horror studios – the feature has instant cred with hardcore genre fans. Hammer was responsible for some truly classic monster movies over the years, and is best known for their series of Dracula titles, which find Christopher Lee donning the fangs to do battle with Peter Cushing. They’ve gotten back to their horror roots over the course of the past few years, releasing a number of features, including Let Me In (a remake of cult Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In) and The Quiet Ones.