Stranger Things‘ season 4 standout, Jamie Campbell Bower, will star in a remake of the ’80s horror cult classic Witchboard, according to a report from Deadline. ’80s horror veteran Chuck Russell will direct the film, which begins production this spring.
The film will center around Emily and Christian, an engaged couple who move to New Orleans to open a café in an old carriage house. However, Emily falls under the malign influence of an antique pendulum board she finds there, prompting Christian to seek the aid of mysterious occultist Alexander Babtiste. However, Babtiste may not have Emily’s best interests at heart, putting Emily’s immortal soul in danger. Supernatural mayhem ensues, with a modern coven of white witches, ancient Witch Queen Naga Soth, and a menacing masked ball. Bower‘s role remains unknown, but Russell says of his star, “There is a tradition in cinema of great English actors that have the charisma we associate with stardom as well as the acting chops to truly be a chameleon, playing a variety of character types. Jamie Campbell Bower is that kind of actor and his time is now.” The original Witchboard was written and directed by Kevin Tenney (Night of the Demons), and starred the late Tawny Kitaen as a woman who succumbs to the supernatural power of a Ouija board possessed by a malevolent spirit. The film was a surprise hit, and spawned two in-name-only sequels in the ’90s, Witchboard II: The Devil’s Doorway and Witchboard III: The Possession.
British actor and musician Bower appeared as the vampire Cauis in the Twilight series, and as a younger version of the dark wizard Grindelwald in the Harry Potter films. He also starred as King Arthur alongside Joseph Fiennes in the Starz fantasy series Camelot. He rocketed to prominence last year with his turn in the fourth season of Stranger Things as Henry Creel, the troubled psychic who was twisted by the evil of the Upside Down into the monstrous, dream-invading Vecna. He will next appear in the horror film True Haunting, alongside Erin Moriarty, and in Kevin Costner‘s epic western Horizon. Director Russell has horror bonafides; he directed A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, which Collider deemed the best of the Nightmare sequels, and the goopy, gory 1988 remake of The Blob. His biggest hit came in 1994, when he directed Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz in the special-effects-laden comedy The Mask. Other highlights of his resume include the 1996 Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner Eraser, The Scorpion King, which featured Dwayne Johnson‘s first starring role, and the John Travolta thriller I Am Wrath. His most recent film was last year’s Paradise City, with Travolta and Bruce Willis.
Russell and Greg McKay wrote Witchboard‘s script. They will also produce with Kade Vu and Bernie Gewissler for A-Nation Media. Eric Schiermeyer, Sarah Buxton, John Paul Isham, and Walter Josten will executive produce. Production on Witchboard will begin in May in Montreal and New Orleans. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.