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4 December 2008

Hilary Swank To Star In "The Resident" For Hammer; Directed By Antti J. Jokinen

Hilary Swank To Star In "The Resident" For Hammer; Directed By Antti J. Jokinen

London, England – December 4, 2008 – It was announced today that two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank (“Boys Don’t Cry,” “Million Dollar Baby) has signed on to star in the suspense/thriller “The Resident” for Hammer.

Hammer is producing the film and its recently launched sales and distribution arm Exclusive will be handling the worldwide sales of the film. The announcement was made by Hammer Co-CEOs Simon Oakes and Nigel Sinclair.

“The Resident” is based on the shocking statistic that every year millions of single women in America move into an apartment for the first time. They do not know who lived in the apartment before them, they do not know their landlords, and they don’t bother to change the locks. This is the story of one such woman, a pretty, young doctor Juliet Dermer (Swank), who is settling into a new life and a new loft in Brooklyn when mysterious occurrences lead her to suspect that she is not alone in her home. Her fears quickly become all too real, and in a chilling revelation she discovers that her seemingly charming, young landlord, Max, has developed a dangerous obsession with her. A terrifying game of cat and mouse ensues as Juliet fights to free herself from Max’s sinister intentions.

Producing the film for Hammer are Simon Oakes, Nigel Sinclair and Guy East. Hammer’s Tobin Armbrust and Alex Brunner will Executive Produce along with Tom Lassally of 3 Arts Entertainment. Hilary Swank will also serve as an Executive Producer.

Antti J. Jokinen is directing the film from a script he co-wrote with Robert Orr (“Savior”) and re-written by Erin Cressida Wilson (“Secretary,” “Fur”). As one of the most acclaimed directors in the music video landscape, Jokinen has directed award winning videos for artists such as Will Smith, Beyonce, Eminem, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Missy Elliott, and Korn, among others. Originally from Finland, Jokinen is the co-founder of the production company, Solar Films, which has grown into Finland’s largest TV and film producer, and has produced two of the top ten grossing Finnish films of all time. Jokinen has also directed and co-written several national Television series.

"The Resident" is a sexy, psychological thriller that I like to call a ‘character-driven terror.’ It's a modern version of ‘Fatal Attraction’ and Polanski's ‘The Tenant.’ To collaborate with Hilary Swank as a first time writer/director is mind-blowing. It was a ray of clarity when I met with her. She is fantastic.” – Antti J. Jokinen

“Hilary has proven time and time again, from ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ to ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ that she has an incredible ability to infuse her characters with strength and pathos. We can’t wait to see her as Juliet in The Resident.“ – Nigel Sinclair

“We are very excited to have the incredibly talented Hilary Swank on board for the first US Hammer production in over three decades.” – Simon Oakes

In addition to “The Resident,” new Hammer projects include “The Wake Wood,” which is currently in post-production, “The Quiet Ones,” to be directed by Jesse Dylan (“Kicking & Screaming,” “American Wedding”) and “Let the Right One In,” a remake of the widely acclaimed Tomas Alfredson directed Swedish film “Lat den ratte komma in,” to be adapted and directed by Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”).

One of the most celebrated and sought after actresses in Hollywood, two-time Academy Award® winning actress Hilary Swank won both acclaim and recognition for her lead role in Kimberly Peirce's independent drama “Boys Don't Cry.” Based on the real-life story of a woman whose decision to lead her life as a man met with dire consequences, “Boys Don't Cry” was one of the year's most lauded films, with particular praise going to Swank for her stunning performance. She went on to win a number of honors for her work in the film, including Golden Globe and Academy Awards® for Best Actress, at the age of 25.

Swank's workload increased significantly after her Oscar win and the actress found herself starring in several challenging roles, including Sam Raimi's psychological thriller “The Gift,” and “The Affair of the Necklace” with future Oscar winner Adrien Brody. She also accepted a meaty supporting role as an eager-to-please rookie detective alongside Hollywood veteran Al Pacino in “Insomnia.”

There was virtually no escaping her unforgettable evocation of a determined female bruiser in director Clint Eastwood's acclaimed “Million Dollar Baby.” Swank's remarkable vitality and sincerity buoyed the film, which took home the Best Picture prize at the 77th Annual Academy Awards and netted Swank the Best Actress award at the same ceremony.

Swank later geared up for a full slate of roles that included the horror picture “The Reaping,” produced by Joel Silver and Bob Zemeckis' Dark Castle Entertainment and directed by Stephen Hopkins; and Brian De Palma's noir “The Black Dahlia” with Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, and Aaron Eckhart.

Swank then began a two-picture collaboration with director Richard LaGravenese. The first, “Freedom Writers,” dramatized successful attempts to turn "at risk" children around in the classroom. Swank's second LaGravenese effort, “P.S., I Love You,” was an adaptation of Cecelia Ahern's novel about a widow who is launched on a series of jaw-dropping adventures by some letters bequeathed to her by her dead husband.

Swank can next be seen starring in Fox Searchlight’s “Amelia” opposite Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor as well as the bio-pic “Betty Anne Waters.”

Hilary Swank is repped by Untitled Entertainment, Creative Artists Agency and attorneys Jeff Bernstein and Karl Austen.


ABOUT HAMMER

Hammer is a legendary British film brand, originally launched in 1934, which delivered a hugely successful run of films in the 1950s including Gothic classics DRACULA and THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and Sci-Fi picture THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT. Hammer's reputation became branded worldwide as 'Hammer House of Horror'. In the 1960s Hammer struck distribution deals with Universal, Warner Brothers, Fox and Columbia. Hammer went on to produce a huge volume of films which included such titles as THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, THE NANNY, QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT and ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.

Not in production since the 1980s, the company is now being aggressively reinvigorated by its parent company HS Media through new investment in the development and production of film, television and digital-platform content.

Hammer’s return to horror was heralded by interactive web serial BEYOND THE RAVE, which was broadcast by MySpace in 12 territories in 2008. Today, Hammer has an active development slate totaling more than 25 projects across diverse genres sourced out of both Europe and the United States. Hammer expects a number of these projects to go into production during 2009.

Hammer is a production arm of HS Media, which was formed by strategic investment group Cyrte Investments in May 2008. HS Media is also the parent company of Los Angeles based Spitfire Pictures and London based Exclusive Film Distribution. The group has a combined share holder equity and facility in excess of $100 million. The group is run by Nigel Sinclair, Guy East and Simon Oakes with Sinclair and Oakes serving as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs (out of Los Angeles and London respectively). East is President and Chairman of the Sales and Distribution Operation.

Under HS Media, Spitfire and Hammer operate as two separate production entities. HS Media aims to produce 6-8 films per year and to acquire additional pictures for worldwide distribution through its London-based subsidiary Exclusive Film Distribution. The group also develops projects for television and digital platforms.

HS Media has over 300 titles in the combined Hammer and Spitfire libraries and will pursue an aggressive library acquisition policy. The Hammer library is noted for its remake potential and the company is in discussions with A-list writers and directors to revive and re-imagine some of the highly touted titles.

Cyrte Investments is part of Delta Lloyd Asset Management, with some 68 billion euros in assets under management (end 2007), one of the Netherlands major asset managers, which in turn is majority-owned by London Stock Exchange listed Aviva plc, one of the world’s largest insurance companies.

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