Giant Pictures, the digital film distribution division of Giant Interactive, has acquired North American digital rights for Ghost Light, a supernatural comedy with a horrifying twist. Directed by John Stimpson and conceived, written, and produced by Stimpson (The Legend of Lucy Keyes, A Christmas Kiss, The Wrong Car) and Geoffrey Taylor (Tempest, Moscow on the Hudson, Down and Out in Beverly Hills), under Stimpson’s H9 production banner. Ghost Light is the tale of a disgruntled actor who disregards the superstition surrounding Shakespeare’s Macbeth and unwittingly unleashes the play’s legendary curse on the troupe, with tragic consequences.
Giant Pictures will release Ghost Light on June 18, 2019 on all digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Movies on Demand through local cable providers, plus DVD nationwide. The film will be presented in 4k HDR where available. Pre-orders are now available on iTunes.
The filmmakers will attend the Washington D.C. premiere of the film at the historic Folger Theatre in the Folger Shakespeare Library located on Capitol Hill on June 17, and will participate in a Q&A following the screening. For event information: www.folger.edu/talks
“Delivering fun and scares in equal measure, Ghost Light introduces the myth of the ‘Scottish Play’ to a whole new generation. We look forward to bringing this delightfully horrifying comedy to audiences everywhere, in magnificent 4K HDR,” said Sarah Dawson of Giant Pictures.
The award-winning ensemble cast of Ghost Light stars Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights), Tom Riley (Da Vinci’s Demons, The Collection, Starfish, Dark Heart), Roger Bart (Episodes, Revenge, The Producers, American Gangster), Carol Kane (The Princess Bride, Annie Hall, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Shannyn Sossamon (Sleepy Hollow, Wayward Pines, A Knight’s Tale, Wristcutters: A Love Story, The Rules of Attraction), Danielle Campbell (Tell Me a Story, The Originals, Runaways, Being Frank), Scott Adsit (Big Hero 6, 30 Rock, Moral Orel, The Terminal),and Steve Tom (Major Crimes, Dumb and Dumber To, Funny or Die Presents…).
Rounding out the ensemble cast are: Alex Portenko (Proud Mary), Shelon Best (The Good Wife, Manifest, Person of Interest), Caroline Portu (The Society, American Odyssey),Nolan Gerard Funk (Counterpart, Awkward, Glee, The Canyons), Lilian Klein (Men in Black 3, Super Troopers 2),Zele Avradopoulos (Paul Blart: Mall Cop), Ken Cheeseman (Leaves of Grass, The Invention of Lying, Mystic River), Mary Callanan Maureen Keiller (Fever Pitch, Spotlight),andJason Mulcahy (Castle Rock, Chappaquiddick, Grown Ups 2).
“The idea for Ghost Light came from my years in the theatre and particularly the Hasty Pudding at Harvard. I get such a kick out of the ridiculous but very seriously regarded superstitions that actors believe in. It called out for a comedic approach, but there are necessarily horrific moments. We’re dealing with the tragedy of Macbeth after all!”, said Stimpson.
In the movie a band of rag-tag summer stock actors in a traveling Shakespeare company prepare to perform The Tragedy of Macbeth at the rustic Riverside Resort and Theater in the mountains of Western Massachusetts. The troupe includes Alex (Elwes), an inept former soap star with deep pockets; Thomas (Riley), a disgraced former New York theater star; Henry (Bart), the director; and Madeline, played by (Kane), a fading grand dame of the stage, among others. When they arrive at the desolate theater, Thomas and his lover, Liz Beth (Sossamon), wantonly disregard the superstition of “The Scottish Play” and unwittingly trigger its curse when they arrogantly shout the name “Macbeth” on stage. Needless to say, things begin to go awry. In due course, two dotty French Canadian caretakers arrive, followed by a wandering, young Appalachian Trail hiker named Juliet (Campbell), whose seductive charm prompts the cast to invite her to play one of the witches in the production. The terrifying sorcery of the ancient curse that has followed performances of Macbeth for centuries strikes yet again. All’s well that ends well… but not for everyone.
Taylor noted that “Our movie weaves together light-hearted comic fun with a splash of spooky supernatural edge. That was what John and I set out to do and we couldn’t be happier with the result. Actors performing Shakespeare badly are the perfect foils for unspooling the curse of Macbeth and audiences have been loving the result at festivals all over. No knowledge about or even taste for Shakespeare is required to enjoy Ghost Light… just sit back and laugh and (occasionally) jump during the wild ride. We had a blast making it and audiences watching it are doing the same.”
Ghost Light has been an official selection in several prestigious national and international film festivals, including the Austin Film Festival, LA Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Sedona International Film Festival, and the Monadnock International Film Festival, and won several awards, including: Oxford Film Festival, The Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award for Roger Bart, and the Audience Award for Best Feature; the Austin Film Festival, Jury Award – Dark Matters Best Feature Film; and the Woodstock Film Festival, Special Jury Prize – Best Ensemble Cast.
Ghost Light was produced by Taylor and Stimpson, who was also the film’s Editor, along with Executive Producers Jennifer Chisolm and William Earon, Co-Producer Michael O’neil, and Line Producer Luke Ramsey. The filmmaking team included: Director of Photography Terrence Hayes, Production Designer Chad Detwiller, Costume Designer Joanna Murphy, Composer Ed Grenga, and Casting Director Rick Montgomery.
The film is represented for North America by CAA, and by Shoreline Entertainment for non-US sales.