While they do have The Lodge coming out early next year, it’s really been a while since we’ve heard much from Hammer Films. Yes, we’ve had some great Blu-ray releases of some of their titles with more to come, but in terms of new films things have really slowed down since when the likes of The Woman In Black, Wake Wood and Let Me In were beginning to prove that they were becoming a force to be reckoned with once again.
However, the company’s CEO Simon Oakes has recently told ‘Forbes’ that Hammer is ready to shift “into top gear” and increase its output. Oakes said that Hammer is:
“One of the very rare brands in the media industry which is in the vernacular: You refer to a thing as ‘like a Hammer film.’ It has global potential like no other. We plan to start producing multiple films per year. To make this work, you have to be cognizant of the budget. Our sweet spot is between $8 million and $12 million, depending on the cast. Hammer, in the 50s, 60s and 70s, made a movie every six weeks like a repertory group and the average budget was about £250,000 [$320,000].”
The new Hammer is looking into remaking some of their old properties, but apparently there could be some rights issues to deal with. This is because, even though characters like Frankenstein and Dracula are public domain properties, Universal are still attempting to get their Dark Universe underway, and there’s talk that they won’t take kindly to Hammer muscling in and doing something very similar, though I hope that Hammer won’t go down the Cinematic Universe route.
Of course, me being me, I’d prefer if if they stuck to more original projects. Leave the Gothic classics alone! But on the other hand, I’d love to see some more Dennis Wheatley adaptations.