Following on from our news item on
19 June about the disappearance of The Wake Wood
from the Hammer production list (picked up shortly after by
Hammer and Beyond, amongst others), a
was published on the BBC News website yesterday which lends support to our
observations and a reasoning behind the decision.
According to the report, The
Resident is to be heralded as Hammer's first official feature in 30 years,
despite the original reports that The Wake Wood was to be, during
shooting last year. Interestingly according to the BBC article, Hammer did not
have any hands on involvement, and the film will be released later this year by
Dublin-based Fantastic Films without full Hammer support.
As we previously indicated, the
production did have Hammer investment (though with the changing corporate
structure over the last year, whether this was through Hammer's own funds or
parent company Exclusive is not absolutely obvious). It is also worth noting
that Fantastic Films are a production company and not a film distributor.
According to Fantastic Films own
website, the picture was locked in the edit on 22 May this year:
Wake Wood Directed by David Keating has picture locked in Windmill Lane
Dublin and now moves to The Post Republic in Berlin. The Wake Wood is
financed by Hammer Films the legendary Horror Brand and the Irish Film Board
, and is Co Produced by Solid Entertainment Sweden. The Wake Wood is
distributed by Vertigo Films ."
The film (now going under the slightly truncated title of Wake Wood) is
listed on Hammer's sister company Exclusive Film Distribution's list of titles
(see here) as
well as continuing to appear on the Exclusive Media Group's website as one of
their titles (see
The whole situation is rather odd, particularly as Hammer have yet to publicly
comment on it. An interview with star Aidan Gillen in The Guardian two weeks ago
refers to Wake Wood as a Hammer film (here).
The film has been promoted as a Hammer project for over a year, so the confusion
is understandable. This sudden public disowning (to the point where the BBC
article emphasises Hammer's limited involvement) seems like a PR mistake - and
is already stirring up controversy on fan message boards.
The Hammer brand has always encompassed low-budget films alongside bigger more
profiled productions, and one option for the company may simply be to push
Wake Wood back in the schedules and bring forward The Resident
allowing the smaller film to follow in the (no pun intended) wake of the other.
Alternatively, they may allow it to go out without the Hammer branding. Equally
possible is that Hammer may reclaim it several years down the line as part of
their brand - prints of 1969 film Wolfshead are branded with the Hammer
name, but others exist with an LWT logo, as Hammer acquired it much later on,
adding it to their extensive filmography.
There are many films in the Hammer canon which do not carry an onscreen Hammer
name, but that doesn't make them less Hammer. At the moment it looks like
Wake Wood will be joining them.