Screenwriter David Farr is officially leading the charge for Quartermass, a feature film adaptation based on iconic British sci-fi hero “Bernard Quatermass”. Legendary Entertainment is backing the film in partnership with Hammer Films whose Simon Oakes is producing.
Made popular by the successful BBC 1950s series, and a trio of films from Hammer Film Productions from the mid-50s to the mid-60s, the Quatermass character is often pointed out as a precursor to “Dr. Who.”
Professor Bernard Quatermass is a fictional rocket scientist originally created by writer Nigel Kneale who, as a pioneering force of the British space program, encounters terrifying extra-terrestrial lifeforms and must draw from science to save humanity.
Heralded as Britain’s first television hero alongside Sherlock Holmes, Quatermass’ monumental influence spanned films, television serials, radio programs and print media over a fifty-year period. Hammer Film Productions’ Quartermass And The Pit is perhaps the best-known iteration of the character; the 1967 British science-fiction horror classic is renowned for its methodical pacing, haunting atmosphere, bold ideas and complex themes dealing with race, religion and ideology; some critics argue it is ‘one of the best examples of smart British science-fiction ever made.’
Jon Silk and Jay Ashenfelter will oversee production for Legendary.
Farr’s credits include the TV series The Night Manager, as well as Joe Wright’s 2011 supersoldier action drama, Hanna, which he is turning into an eight-part television series for Amazon Studios. Farr is represented in the US by UTA and in the UK by Curtis Brown Group.
Oakes, who serves as CEO and Chairman of Hammer, is best known for producing The Woman In Black, directed by James Watkins and starring Daniel Radcliffe, and Let Me In from director Matt Reeves and starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit McPhee. His most recent feature, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s The Lodge, stars Riley Keough and premiered last weeked at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Hammer was founded in 1934, and is now known as one of the oldest filmed entertainment brands in the world. Throughout its long history it has produced prominent film and television within the horror, thriller and fantasy genres.
Its horror library is known to have arguably helped to define the genre and the brand’s place in popular culture, with the title of its 1980s television series ‘Hammer House of Horror’ taking up position in the English vernacular. Over the course of 80 years, the company has produced iconic films such as Dracula, The Curse Of Frankenstein and One Million Years B.C..
Since its inception, Hammer has made over 210 feature films, and has built up a library of approximately 300 filmed entertainment titles. Recent years have seen some internal creative restructuring with a focus on suspense films in the thriller, horror and sci-fi genres, with the release of both commercially and critically successful productions. Namely, The Woman In Black franchise grossed over $175 million at the global box office.