Whether the success of “The Woman in Black” was down to it being Daniel Radcliffe’s first big post-'Potter' role or simply a yearning from audiences for old-school chilling horror, it performed well enough at the box office ($127 million worldwide) to justify a sequel. Anyone who saw the first film will know that a direct sequel wouldn’t be the easiest thing to pull off, so “The Woman in Black: Angel of Death” will pick up 40 years later during World War II at Eel Marsh House, and will focus on a new couple being haunted by the titular ghoul.
And now it looks like the film has found that young couple. They’ll be played by “War Horse” star Jeremy Irvine, and the considerably less well-known Phoebe Fox. Irvine’s done pretty well for himself since “War Horse,” with leading roles in “Now Is Good” and “Great Expectations,” while he has “The Railway Man” with Colin Firth, “A Night in Mexico” with Robert Duvall, and “The World Made Straight” with, erm, Haley Joel Osment, all on his upcoming slate. The 26 year-old Fox, meanwhile, will probably be best known for appearing in one episode of “Black Mirror” (“The Entire History of You,” which Robert Downey Jr. recently bought the rights to), as well as a small “Charmed”-esque show called “Switch” in the U.K.
The sequel will be directed by Tom Harper, who directed the excellent little British film “The Scouting Book For Boys” as well as episodes of “Misfits” and “This is England ’86,” and was written by the first film’s story editor, Jon Croker. Fox and Irvine will visit Eel Marsh House along with a group of evacuated children who are taken there after the government seized it to house refugees. That’s about all we know so far, but we imagine more will emerge as it heads to Cannes shopping the distribution rights. We were skeptical when we first heard about the plans for this sequel, but the story doesn’t sound too far-fetched (thank goodness there are no character resurrections), Harper’s a good director and this casting sounds promising too. In fact, we’re ready to be creeped out again as quickly as they can get this into theaters. [Deadline]