Rachel McAdams haunted by THE ORPHANAGE, and her CASTLE?

If Pajiba’s sources are to be believed, Rachel McAdams has landed herself the lead role in the Hollywood remake of…

Matt Holmes

Editorial Team

If Pajiba’s sources are to be believed, Rachel McAdams has landed herself the lead role in the Hollywood remake of the 2007 Spanish-language horror film “The Orphanage”, which we learned in January would be directed by so-so helmer Mark Pellington (“Arlington Road, The Mothman Prophecies”).

But isn’t she too young, you say?

The answer is probably. Not that I have anything against McAdams but at 31, I wouldn’t have even considered her for this. Part of the charm of the Juan Antonio Bayona directed original was Belen Rueda, an actress in her early 40’s who radiated such a commanding screen performance that was enhanced in weight and legitimacy by just how many years she had been on the planet.

Only actresses’ of that certain age could spew out the inner guts and that kind of inner turmoil of the mother haunted by her childhood orphanage, but then I guess it’s very un-Hollywood-like to cast anyone over the age of 35 to lead a major horror movie.

(After the jump, more on “The Orphanage”, and news of another horror movie McAdams is circling which will co-star an Oscar winner and an Oscar nominated actress)…

I do genuinely like McAdams and “Red Eye” proved that she can handle the jump-scare, terrified moments as well as anyone – though The Orphanage was of course built on much more than that.

I am also reminded that Nicole Kidman was 31 when she starred in the similar tension building English-language horror The Others, one of her finer performances in fact, so I would be foolish to right off McAdams at this stage.

Still I can now only wonder what a Jodie Foster (47) or a Tilda Swinton (49) would have done in the lead role. Apparently Sandra Bullock (45) was attached before Christmas so once upon a time they were looking to cast the right kind of age. Wonder what happened?

The other news from Pajiba concerns another horror flick McAdams is circling. The budding scream queen is linked to the adaptation of the 1962 Shirley Jackson gothic novel, “We Have Always Lived In The Castle”.

Starring alongside Saorise Ronan as a pair of sisters who along with their uncle (Michael Douglas; who also acts as producer and financial backer) are forced into seclusion after several of their family members are poisoned from sugar laced with arsenic during a family meal. Were they responsible for the mysterious deaths, or is there a supernatural element, or something else?

The plot then goes a little crazier when a dubious, long-lost cousin arrives in searching for the family’s fortune. I’m led to believe we are to think of him with the same suspicions that Daniel Plainview has on his so called brother in “There Will Be Blood”.

“We Have Always Lived In The Castle”, a psychological horror novel, similar in many ways to “The Orphanage” which in turn is a ghost story that echoes back to the classic 1963 film adaptation of Jackson’s novel “The Haunting”, surely one of the more effective horror’s of all time.

So it’s all swings and roundabouts again. Sounds good anyway, especially with that cast.

Anyway Pajiba reminds us that we should think of both McAdams’ horror attachments as rumors for now but they sound so similar, I wouldn’t be surprised if the actress is wanting to explore something in this genre and is serious about starring in one of them. I’m guessing “The Orphanage” will be the more commercially viable, but “We Have Always Lived In The Castle” sounds way more enticing for an actress and indeed for us the viewer and hopefully that’s the one she will decide to make.

Upcoming, she probably has her role of Irene Adler to reprise for the “Sherlock Holmes” sequel that films October-ish and before that a role in the new Woody Allen Paris-set romantic drama. She also has a Terrence Malick film at the back end of the year, so her schedule seems full till 2011. Will that affect her chances here, or are both projects willing to wait for her?