Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to star in Eric Howell’s supernatural thriller Voice from the Stone. Variety reports that the haunted tale is currently looking for distribution at Cannes, with K5 International shopping it around.
Voice from the Stone is the film adaptation of a novel by Italian scribe Silvio Raffo. The story sounds like an old-fashioned haunted house scenario, with Gyllenhaal playing a nurse in charge of a young boy who complains of malevolent forces lurking in the walls of an old house in the Italian countryside. As she becomes more involved with the family (particularly the father), she ends up the target of the evil entity and must save herself and the family.
This haunted house/spook story is a theme that has seen a resurgence recently. There’s Juan Carlos Fresnadillo‘s upcoming tale of posession in Intruders, and yet another remake of classic evil house pic Amityville Horror from Dimension Films. This could be due to the fact that haunted house films can be made on relatively small budgets, with the possibility of huge returns. The primary example would be James Wan’s indie horror pic Insidious, which had a budget of just over a million dollars, but earned over $50 million domestically when it came out in theatres. The same business model was followed by the filmmakers and producers behind the Paranormal Activity franchise; low-cost scare effects (aka old-fashioned haunting story), huge monetary returns.
Gyllenhaal has a full plate at the moment with current film Still I Rise in production, and set to star opposite Hugh Dancy in the romantic comedy Hysteria. She’s been an indie darling over the years, with a few co-starring roles in big budget films like Dark Knight. Though she’s done some laudable work in quirky roles such as Lee in Secretary, I thought her lack-luster, dour-faced Rachel in Dark Knight was disappointing. Hopefully this role in Voice from the Stone will play to her strengths.
Produced by Dean Zanuck and Stefano Gallini, Voice from the Stone has yet to announce a shooting schedule.