Harris, the son of renowned Irish actor Richard Harris, has been quietly building a career as a first-rate character actor since the ’80s, disappearing into roles ranging from Henry VIII and Andy Warhol to Professor Moriarty and John Lennon. Though he’s received a fair amount of notice for his recent work on AMC’s TV juggernaut Mad Men, he’ll likely get more attention for his turn as Ulysses S. Grant in Lincoln, Stephen Spielberg’s upcoming Abraham Lincoln biopic.
The Quiet Ones, to be directed by John Pogue (Quarantine 2) and written by Pogue and Tom DeVille (Lexx), is supposedly based on true events that occurred in 1974.
According to Hammer, Harris will play Professor Joseph Coupland, “an unorthodox professor who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: to create a poltergeist . . . the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity. As frightening occurrences begin to take place with shocking and gruesome consequences, the group quickly realizes they have triggered a force more terrifying than they ever could have imagined.”
Although he’s a classy British thespian, Harris has done plenty of genre work over the years, appearing in projects such as Lost in Space, Dead Man, Trance (aka The Eternal), Fringe, Nadja, B. Monkey and Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
Pogue is pretty happy to land Harris for his new movie. “Jared Harris is an extraordinarily talented actor and I’m thrilled that he will be playing the key role of Professor Joseph Coupland,” Pogue said. “Jared has the perfect blend of charisma, intelligence and wit that the part demands, and I’m excited to watch him bring the role to life.”
President and CEO of Hammer Simon Oakes said, “The Quiet Ones is set to be an incredibly chilling and sinister picture that we are proud to be a part of. It’s another unique horror movie which we believe will appeal to audiences around the world.”
Well, I don’t know about that, but Hammer has definitely been on a roll lately, scoring big with The Woman in Black, the gothic throwback starring Daniel Radcliffe. If all goes well, The Quiet Ones sounds like it could be a satisfying Hammer ghost story reminiscent of 1973′s The Legend of Hell House. And that would be a very good thing indeed.