EXCLUSIVE: Almost 50 years after the release of Robin Hardy’s horror classic, Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish’s The Imaginarium and Studiocanal-backed Urban Myth Films are turning The Wicker Man into a TV series.
BAFTA-winning Misfits and War of the Worlds writer Howard Overman has penned the script and Urban Myth and The Imaginarium have acquired the rights from Studiocanal. They are in the early stages of pitching to potential broadcasters, Deadline can reveal.
Originally starring Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee, Hardy’s original has become a cult horror classic. It follows Police Sergeant Neil Howle, who journeys by seaplane to the remote Hebridean Island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. The devout Christian is dismayed to find the Islanders paying homage to the pagan Celtic gods of their ancestors and all hell breaks loose, ending in tragedy.
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Having been remade for the big screen in 2006 for a feature starring Nicholas Cage, talk of a reimagining of the 1973 classic for TV has been going on for some time. It’s a Sin producer Red Production Company had been examining the possibility after it was acquired by French powerhouse Studiocanal in 2014.
Overman said the TV adaptation will differ from the original but “explore the same themes of sacrifice, superstition and ritual that were at its core.”
The Imaginarium Co-Founder Cavendish said Overman has “created a bold, shocking and unique series, pulling the themes and terrifying power of the original Wicker Man into a thrilling modern setting,” while Urban Myth exec Johnny Capps called the show a “fantastic collaboration.”
Lord of the Rings star Serkis and Bridget Jones producer Cavendish’s Imaginarium is currently in post production on Taika Waititi-directed soccer comedy-drama Next Goal Wins starring Michael Fassbender, while the company’s Netflix YA series The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself will drop on the streamer later this month.
Studiocanal-backed Urban Myth’s third season of Overman’s War of the Worlds recently dropped on Canal+ in France and Disney+ in the UK and the outfit is in production on a second season of Sky’s Lazarus Project.
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