Daniel Radcliffe is terrified of THE WOMAN IN BLACK

Mark Hammil, Elijah Wood. When was the last time you watched a movie on t.v. involving either man, let alone on DVD or at the cinema? The curse of the fantasy series star is of course already well documented and Daniel Radcliffe (& his agent) will already be well aware that the choices they make now -- the seeds they plant over the next few years -- will go a long way in securing whether Radcliffe will be an actor's who's work we can get excited about in 2010, or if he'll be an obscure figure whose only real public appearances are when he attempts to spend his $1 billion, gazillion dollars. I mean seriously, has there ever been an actor who has made as much money as Radcliffe by the age of 20? We sincerely doubt it, not with an eight movie franchise behind his belt - the latter of which he was earning $15 million a pop. Many a young man would run off to the hills on that kinda fortune... It's been announced today that Radcliffe has secured a deal to lead The Woman in Black, a ghost story from Hammer Films (no matter what film it is; ghost story and hammer films in the same sentence will always make me smile) that has been adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Stardust) from the popular Susan Hill novel. James Watkins, director of the effective British horror Eden Lake (you may remember we spoke to him a few years back) will direct the movie this fall, in what, given his past work, we would expect to be a rather grim and violent take. The Woman in Black is a serious take-up of the Sleepy Hollow myth where Radcliffe will play a young lawyer (mmm... we might be able to buy it) who travels to a remote part of the UK to look over the will of a recently deceased client but soon finds himself fighting off against a malevolent ghost who is holding the town hostage. It's a role that was originally offered to much older thesps Michael Fassbender and then later Colin Farrell but both had to turn down due to scheduling. I've seen a couple of amateur stage productions of the novel (it's got Scarborough roots, so it's always playing somewhere in the North East of England) and it's an effective, claustrophobic chiller that uses the stage to create an atmospheric tone quite unlike any play I think I've ever seen. We hope Watkins can find a way to translate that feeling to film, but apparently it's going to be in 3D - so we are concerned about 'gimmicked ghosts' and the like.

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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.