Hammer to adapt Witchy novella, “THE DAYLIGHT GATE”
Excitingly, witches are back in a big way. Is the short-lived sub-genre of Folk Horror, as well? It would seem so. In just over a week, FANGORIA is sponsoring Beyond Fest’s British Invasion double feature of occult-minded THE BORDERLANDS and Ben Wheatley’s psychedelic pagan period piece A FIELD IN ENGLAND. Both, set in rural England, follow in the influential footsteps of the likes of WITCHFINDER GENERAL, BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW and CRY OF THE BANSHEE. Now, Hammer Films (who tread that ground with the likes of the great THE DEVIL RIDES OUT and THE WITCHES) has taken an interest in Jeanette Winterson’s 17th-century set THE DAYLIGHT GATE.
Released under the Hammer Imprint of Arrow Books, THE DAYLIGHT GATE is set around a very real series of witch trials that took place in Pendle Hill in 1612. A gathering of thirteen is interrupted by local magistrate Roger Nowell. Is this a coven or a helpless group of women trying to save their family from the stake? Already two stand accused of witchcraft. The wealthy, respected Alice Nutter tries to defend them, haunted by her own past entanglement with magick. She doesn’t believe in the Devil, but as she fights for justice, her life is endangered by forces visible and invisible.
Winterson said, “I was interested to take the Hammer novella commission to write a good story around the notorious Pendle witch trials of 1612. Now I am intrigued and excited to see what new form these ghosts can inhabit. Stories from the past are always present; it is our imaginations that make it so.”
There is currently no director set for THE DAYLIGHT GATE. [Screen Daily]