The tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, popularised in the English-speaking world by the 19th century poet Robert Browning, is once again being adapted for the screen, 700 years after it was first told.
The film, which is being written and directed by Iceland’s Erlingur Thoroddsen, will follow the tale of a young composer who is tasked with finishing her late mentor’s concerto. But she soon discovers that playing the music summons an evil force in the form of the Pied Piper.
Charlotte Hope (The Spanish Princess and Games of Thrones) will star as the film’s young composer, whereas Julian Sands (The Killing Fields) will play the Piper. The score will be composed by Christopher Young, who already has a slew of respectable horror films under his belt. These include 2014’s shocker Deliver Us from Evil to 2019’s creepy Pet Sematary.
Thoroddsen’s previous feature, Rift, about two young men living in a secluded cabin in Iceland, similarly tells the story of a menacing, invisible force. You will have seen Hope in Julian Fellowes’ Netflix miniseries The English Game, and opposite Demian Bechir in the feature film The Nun. Sands just wrapped up filming on Mike Figgis’ Mother Tongue and will soon star in Phillip Noyce’s Blood Relative.
Tanner Mobley, VP Development and Production at Millennium Media, told Deadline that “Erlingur wrote a chilling script that adapts the sinister tale of the Pied Piper into a modern day horror villain. The story and team, including iconic composer Christopher Young, has attracted an amazing cast led by Charlotte and Julian. We can’t wait to get started.” Filming is already underway in Bulgaria.
The original tale of the Pied Piper, which dates back to 1284, tells the story of a strange musician in multi-coloured clothes who, with his music, lures the children of Hamelin to a fantastical cavern. The cavern swallows the children up and they are never to be seen again. The tale has inspired countless stage, musical and film adaptations across the centuries, Australian director Ariel Kleiman’s Partisan (2016), about the grooming of child assassins by a charismatic cult leader, amongst the most recent.
There is no word yet as to when the new film will be released.
Words by Camilla Patini
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