Despite Halloween having passed nearly a month ago, Hammer Films certainly aren’t letting up on the scares. As one of the most iconic horror labels in Hollywood history, Hammer has birthed the careers of stars like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and shepherded in a new age of fear at the movies — and now, they’re getting a bit of a facelift. Variety reports that the label has sealed a deal with the U.K.-based Network Distributing to form Hammer Studios Ltd., a partnership that will allow for the restoration of Hammer’s entire back catalog, as well as the development of new projects.
According to Variety, the newly-minted Hammer Studios will be in control of Hammer’s entire library of content, including classics like Dracula and The Mummy, and newer ventures like The Quiet Ones and The Woman in Black, digitizing and restoring older projects to make the label’s entire catalog available to the public. The project is no mean feat, with over a hundred films produced under Hammer’s name, most between 1950 and 1979, covering not only the horror genre but also psychological thrillers, war films, comedies, and swashbucklers.
Tim Beddows, managing director at Network said:
“This partnership is a really exciting opportunity to merge Hammer’s amazing library with Network’s infrastructure. Whilst we work our way through restoring its entire back catalogue for future generations’ enjoyment, we’re equally excited about the development of new productions from the Hammer canon.”
The massive restoration project isn’t Network’s first rodeo, with the company having built a reputation for unearthing cult film and television projects in order to make them available to the public both on home video and digitally. The company has previously restored episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, as well as The Prisoner and over a hundred films released under The British Film imprint, making them a quintessential part of keeping English cinema history alive.
The company also hopes to continue Hammer’s streak of producing new films, having been in business since 1934 and showing no signs of stopping, having just released The Lodge in 2020. Plans include the development of new projects, as well as adaptations of and new work created from existing IP — which should prove to be an interesting endeavor, with their history of bringing iconic creatures like Dracula and The Mummy to life.
And without the risk of cutting off your hand!
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