He’s a fussy and fastidious, supremely intelligent, thoughtful and determined, brave man of science and action. He’s an icon of British science fiction and an explorer of alien life the world over. In fact, he’s the very first sci-fi hero in the United Kingdom. No, it’s not the Doctor, though you’d be forgiven for thinking it was. We’re talking about Bernard Quatermass, the star of three hugely influential series on the BBC in the mid-’50s, beginning with The Quatermass Experiment in 1953. Now, Legendary and Hammer Films are teaming up to bring Quatermass to the big screen for a whole new generation.
Hammer–the legendary (pun intended) British studio responsible for some of the best horror films ever made–did three film adaptations of the Quatermass serials in the ‘50s and ‘60s, culminating in Quatermass and the Pit in 1967, hailed by many (including me) as one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. Created by writer Nigel Kneale, Quatermass was traditionally the head of the British Experimental Rocket Group and an investigator of alien activity.
The film adaptation, Quatermass, will be written by David Farr, writer of the Emmy-nominated spy miniseries The Night Manager and the feature film Hanna, which he’s also adapting to a miniseries for Amazon. The film will be produced by Hammer’s Simon Oakes, who produced the supremely underrated The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe and Let Me In, Matt Reeves’ English-language remake of Let the Right One In.
No word yet on a director, but the project’s prestige, especially in Britain, could get some top-tier talent. (Maybe a Ben Wheatley or Hanna film director Joe Wright?) The first two original Quatermass films were directed by Val Guest, while the third was directed by Roy Ward Baker a decade later.
We’re supremely excited to see the return of one of Hammer’s most enduring screen characters, and we’re already fantasy casting the film!
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Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!