Hilary Swank to star in Hammer Films next thriller?

Hilary Swank in The Reaping
Hilary Swank in The Reaping
This seems to be somewhat of a departure for two time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank, but this could be a serious game-changer for the newly revived Hammer Films Productions. According to Variety, Swank will top-line The Resident, a thriller the label is set to begin lensing in May 2009. Not that Hillary Swank is a stranger to the horror genre, but it’s been big studio fare, like Warner Bros.’ The Reaping, or cerebral thrillers, like Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia. Although she did appear in the satirical Buffy the Vampire Slayer film in 1992. This was before Joss Whedon’s cult classic TV series, of the same name, and it doesn’t compare.

Finnish TV and music video director Antti J. Jokinen is calling the shots in his feature directing debut, working from a script he co-wrote with Robert Orr, which was recently worked on by Erin Cressida Wilson. The Resident will be the second production since Hammer relaunched, the first being the just wrapped the low-budget thriller The Wake Wood, which was shot in Ireland.

Swank’s character is a doctor who moves into a Brooklyn loft, who soon discovers her landlord is a stalker. He must have seen the dress she sported when she won the Oscar for Million Dollar Baby.

Hilary Swank is finishing up work on Amelia, where she’s playing Amelia Earhart, the groundbreaking female aviator, who was lost at sea. She is also attached to Betty Ann Waters, which tells the story of an unemployed single mother of two, who spent 12 years of her life earning a law degree, in order to represent her brother, who was convicted of murder and robbery in 1983.

Film Fetish Trivia: U.K.-based Hammer Films is best known as a producer of low budget horror films, which had a cult following. They ranged from a string of well-acted semi-grindhouse vampire movies, like Countess Dracula (1971), Vampire Circus (1972) and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973). Many of their horror films featured actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in lead roles. They also produced the cult favorite TV series Hammer House of Horror and Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense, in the 1980s. However, the innovative studio, also did co-productions with global film giants like the famous Shaw Brothers from Hong Kong, including the horror/kung-fu hybrid film The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974). Upon further inspection, it seems Hammer also made films in a number of different genres such as war thrillers, gritty dramas, comedies and colourful swashbuckling adventures. Some of these are considered their best films, including the 1959 classics Never Take Sweets from a Stranger, Hell is a City and Yesterday’s Enemy, the latter of which earned Hammer BAFTA nominations for best picture, best actor and best supporting actor. Hammer’s films also benefited from an expert team of actors and technicians, including big names that on first glance would never have thought to be associated with Hammer including Robert Aldrich, Ken Adam, Joe Losey, Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Donald Sutherland, Joan Fontaine, Richard Widmark, Ursula Andress and Raquel Welch.