published on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 13.10 GMT|
Sam Raimi is to return to his horror roots on the low-budget Drag Me to Hell, which will star Juno's acclaimed Ellen Page in the lead role.
The US director, who originally made his name with the Evil Dead films, will direct from a screenplay he himself has co-written with brother Ivan.
The first two Dead movies were milestones in horror cinema and made the Spider-Man director's name. Evil Dead II, in particular, helped inject a welcome dose of humour into the genre after Raimi stumbled upon the idea of mixing gore with Three Stooges-style slapstick in order to head off the censors who had come down hard on his earlier effort.
Page, who could well earn an Oscar later this month for her acclaimed performance as a pregnant teen in Juno, will portray an innocent woman who becomes possessed by a curse. Following the success of Juno, the actor's diary is getting fully booked with offers. Aside from working with Raimi, she will also star in Whip It, a comedy directed by Drew Barrymore.
Drag Me to Hell will be Raimi's first horror film in more than 15 years - his last was 1992's Army of Darkness, the third film in the Evil Dead series, although that one turned out to be more of a swords and sorcery romp. Filming is set to begin in Los Angeles next month.