Christopher Lee in Hammer's The Devil Rides Out (1968)
In a hugely significant move,
it appears that veteran Hammer actor Christopher Lee has been cast in Hammer's
newest film -Invasion of Privacy.
reports which leaked
onto the web on Monday in the US, Lee has been cast to star alongside Hilary
Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a psychological thriller about a woman who
moves into a new appartment before finding out her landlord has developed an
unhealthy obsession with her.
Previously known as "The
Resident", Invasion Of Privacy looks to be shaping into a real showcase
for the reborn Hammer films. The casting of Oscar winner Swank and Jeffrey Dean
Morgan is a move into A-list territory (and not dissimilar from Hammer's old
technique of borrowing American stars for their films - think Bette Davis,
Richard Widmark, Bela Lugosi even). Lee's casting will no doubt be viewed with
cynicism by some quarters, but it does allow a real connection in talent between
old and new Hammer. Few actors have appeared on screen for Hammer more times,
and as is often remarked, most of the old school are now dead. Lee was the first
star Hammer really made (Peter Cushing was already a familiar face on theatre
and television in the UK), and to bring him back at the infancy of the new
company is a great boost.
Whilst Lee is hardly likely to
draw masses of new fans (although his appearances in Lord of the Rings
and Star Wars not to mention numerous Tim Burton movies will have given
him a certain cachet among the younger crowds), it might at least convince older
fans to give the new Hammer a break.
The change of the film's name
along with details about filming was leaked two weeks ago via the
New Mexico Business Weekly. According to the report, filming takes place
at the Albuquerque Studios, in Albuquerque New Mexico from 26th May through 17th
July. Residents (no pun intended) of the area will be interested to learn that
the company plans to hire at least 200 local crew members, 200 extras and 14
story known to be set in Brooklyn we expect some filming to take place around
New York - mostly for exteriors. This is significantly only the second time that
Hammer has filmed exclusively in the US - and the first since the pilot for the
aborted Tales of Frankenstein in 1957.
As yet, there has been no
official word from Hammer about any of these developments.
Here at Unofficialhammerfilms,
we're delighted to see a move into psychological thrillers, which defies many
expectations of what Hammer would do. Hammer had a hugely successful run of
thrillers in the 60s and 70s and Invasion of Privacy reminds us of
Hammer's diverse exploitation portfolio.