Radcliffe to star in gothic thriller

Daniel Radcliffe is swapping 'Harry Potter' for hammer horror to star in gothic thriller 'The Woman in Black', it was confirmed today.

Susan Hill's best-selling novel is being adapted for the big screen by 'Kick-Ass' writer Jane Goldman, who is married to Jonathan Ross.

The movie will be produced by film makers Hammer, responsible for blood-curdling cult classics such as 'Dracula' and 'The Curse of Frankenstein'.

Radcliffe, who described his new job as "thrilling", will play Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer who is ordered to travel to a remote corner of the UK and sort out a recently deceased client's papers.

But as he works alone in an old and isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover its "tragic secrets".

His unease grows further when he discovers that the local village is held hostage by the ghost of a scorned woman set on vengeance.

The movie is due to go into production this autumn and will be directed by Eden Lake film-maker James Watkins.

Today's confirmation follows widespread speculation that Radcliffe, who found fame as a child actor playing the bespectacled wizard, was due to take the role.

Radcliffe has starred in all the 'Harry Potter' feature films based on the JK Rowling publishing phenomenon.

The 20-year-old actor said: "I am incredibly excited to be part of 'The Woman In Black'.

"Jane Goldman's script is beautifully written - both tender and terrifying in equal measure.

"It is thrilling to be working with James Watkins.

"From his brilliant work on Eden Lake and also having met him and heard his vision for the film, I know he will make a fantastic film."

Radcliffe also starred in Brian Kirk's 'My Boy Jack', playing Rudyard Kipling's tragic 17-year-old son who went off to fight in the First World War.

He has also had success treading the boards, receiving acclaim for his portrayal of Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer's 'Equus' in the West End and on Broadway.

Radcliffe will return to Broadway next spring to star in the musical 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying'.

Watkins said: "When I met Dan, it was quite uncanny how closely our thoughts on the story mirrored each other. I can't wait to get down to work with him to fashion a compelling character and a classy ghost story that tugs at the heart and chills to the bone."

'The Woman in Black' was adapted into a stage play by Stephen Mallatratt and first performed in Scarborough in 1987.

It moved to London's West End two years later and has been performed around the world since becoming a hit.

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