Mystery suspense thriller Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop, officially wrapped last week according to an announcement by Philippe Martinez, producer at MSR Media.
The new mystery-suspense feature comes from director Brad Watson (The 7th Dimension) from a script by Kate Wood (Out of the Ashes), Chad Law (Beyond the Law), and Josh Ridgway (Howlers). It stars Nathalie Cox (Clash of the Titans, Kingdom of Heaven) and multi-award winner Kelsey Grammer (Transformers: Age of Extinction, “Frasier”), with Caroline Quentin (BBC’s “Dickensian”), Steven Elder (The King), and Tara Fitzgerald (“Game of Thrones”).
The film is being devised as the first in a series of films, described as “a family adventure that follows the daring escapades of Elizabeth Willoughby (Cox). Tragically orphaned at a young age, Miss Willoughby inherited her impressive family estate and was raised by retired US Marine, Robert (Grammer), who also runs the family business. History professor, detective, and adventurer, Willoughby receives a call from family friends, who have been experiencing a series of hauntings at their antique bookshop. Willoughby’s skills and insatiable appetite for investigation are key to unraveling this paranormal mystery.
The film began shooting four weeks ago in York, UK, amid strict compliance with Covid-19 health guidelines to ensure the cast and crew’s well-being. With the supervision of a Covid-19 official on set and following BFI guidelines the production finished safely and successfully on schedule.
“It is certainly a bit of a challenge to shoot during these extraordinary times, but we are thrilled with how the production of Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop went without a hitch. With strong organization and clear guidelines, we have proven that starting and completing principal photography during Covid-19 is not only possible, but also safe. The enthusiasm of everyone in the cast and crew, including Nathalie Cox and Kelsey Grammar, who gallantly flew in from the US, to be back on set was truly special and certainly translated to the quality of the shoot. The extraordinary chemistry between Nathalie and Kelsey on screen was our reward for all efforts made. This experience invigorates our desire to continue shooting our productions despite the uncertain times,” said producer Philippe Martinez.
“This has been a terrific experience. I think Nathalie Cox is delightful and brings the Miss Willoughby character to life with great charm and depth. Philippe welcomed me to what has been a wonderful creative process. Although COVID presented a new set of challenges, we were able to work very effectively through new standards of film production. I would urge my family of actors at SAG-AFTRA to take a page out of the British playbook; we can responsibly get back to work. I have nothing but high praise for everyone associated with this production, from the director Brad Watson to the costume, make-up and hair folks to the young people who are just getting started in this marvelous profession,” said Grammar.
“Filming Miss Willoughby has been a dream come true. Philippe Martinez has created a wonderful, warm, and funny character in the quintessential British Elizabeth Willoughby. Working with the incredible Kelsey Grammer and alongside other great actors such as Tara Fitzgerald and Caroline Quentin I feel like we’ve brought to life the mysterious and exciting world of Miss Willoughby that audiences of all ages will love,” said Cox.
Philippe Martinez with Alan Latham from Highfield Grange Studios produced the film. The film’s financial partner is Kirsty Bell from Goldfinch Entertainment who served as Executive Producer alongside Lee Beasley and Karinne Behr from MSR Media, which is handling worldwide distribution rights.
Jeffrey Goldberg of Jeff Goldberg Management negotiated the deal on behalf of Nathalie Cox. Vault Entertainment negotiated the deal on behalf of Kelsey Grammer who is also repped by UTA.
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