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Jeffrey Dean Morgan To Star In Screen Adaptation of James Herbert’s ‘Shrine’

BY Stephanie Larson

Published 4 years ago

Jeffrey Dean Morgan To Star In Screen Adaptation of James Herbert's 'Shrine'

The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan is stepping back into the supernatural realm as he lands the leading role in the Screen Gems’ adaptation of James Herbert’s 1983 horror novel Shrine.

According to Deadline, Evan Spiliotopoulos is set to write and adapt the film which marks his directorial debut. His writing credits include the live-action Beauty and the Beast,  The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Hercules, and the upcoming Charlie’s Angels. Spiliotopoulos will also produce the Shrine together with Ghost House’s Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi.

Bringing the Horrors of the Shrine to Life

Herbert’s novel tells the story of Alice Pagett, a deaf and mute child who is miraculously cured one night when she runs to an oak tree behind their local church where she claims the Virgin Mary appeared to her. Not only was she cured herself, but it seems the encounter has also given her the ability to perform miracles as well. Gerry Fenn, a reporter, finds her and the news of her curing spreads like wildfire. Soon, Catholic pilgrims start treating the site of her miracle as a shrine. However, the priest of the church senses something far from good in that place.

With the screen adaptation, however, it seems that the film will be shifting the focus onto the reporter who finds the little girl.  As the official logline goes, Shrine focuses on a disgraced journalist who discovers a series of seemingly divine miracles in a small New England town and uses them to resurrect his career, but the ‘miracles’ may have a much darker source.

Herbert, who passed away in 2013, was dubbed as the Stephen King of the UK with his books selling 54 million copies worldwide. Even King himself expressed his admiration for the late British writer. “His best novels, The Rats and The Fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power,” King said. “Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down.”

Once it’s completed, Shrine will be joining Screen Gem’s more recent roster of horror films including Brightburn, Searching, and Slender Man. Scott Strauss and Michael Bitar will be overseeing for Screen Gems while Romel Adam will be overseeing for Ghost House. Production will begin in February.

Morgan has previously worked with Ghost House in The Possession. Morgan’s other works include Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural, The Watchmen, and Rampage. He is repped by attorney Stuart Rosenthal at Goodman Schenkman & Brecheen, LLP and United Talent Agency.

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