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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | October 16, 2021

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Spierig brothers set to direct Helen Mirren in 2017

Spierig brothers set to direct Helen Mirren in 2017

| On 13, Sep 2016

Michael and Peter Spierig will be returning to Australia next year to film their newest feature, Winchester, with Academy Award Winner, Helen Mirren confirmed as lead.

Inspired by actual events, Mirren will play firearm heiress Sarah Winchester in the supernatural thriller. The story follows a woman who believes she is being haunted by the spirits of people killed by Winchester rifles and is driven to build the Winchester Mystery House. A bizarre construction, the sprawling mansion consists of 160 rooms, with some staircases and corridors leading nowhere.

The Spierig brothers said, “There have been few haunted house stories that have captured our imaginations quite like the legend of the Winchester House. Sarah Winchester was an eccentric pioneer, an inventor, a woman plagued by her family’s legacy, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have Helen Mirren bring this fascinating character to life. “

A production funded by Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Screen Queensland, Winchester will be distributed by Studiocanal within Australia and New Zealand. Screen Australia CEO, Graeme Mason said, “Films like Winchester telegraph to the international market the breadth of films that can be made in Australia, using not only our locations but our creative and producing talent.”

Production will commence early next year, with filming taking place in Melbourne and Docklands Studios, and postproduction happening right here in Queensland. Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira said Winchester will put a global spotlight on Queensland talent and produce huge long-term benefits for the state.

“There is already considerable market interest in Winchester following the Cannes Film Market and we anticipate there will be good representation of Queenslanders in the heads of department”, she said.

It’s not the first time the Spierig brothers have drawn international attention for Queensland. Their previous film, Daybreakers, which grossed $30 million, was shot here in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

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