The Woman in Black

Release Date: February 3, 2012

I have no idea why my sideburns look like this.

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Daniel Radcliffe has starred in eight movies with a combined global box office take of $7.7 billion. Yes, his features thus far have averaged $962 million per release. There is one significant way in which his professional career has changed, though. Harry Potter has cast his final spell. This leaves Daniel Radcliffe in search of new characters to portray. It also raises the question of whether movie goers will be willing to separate Daniel Radcliffe as an actor from the character with whom he will be invariably linked for the rest of his life.

Okay, this is a slight exaggeration in that Radcliffe technically worked in a James Bond-ish film called Tailor of Panama released in 2001. And he also portrayed a character named Maps in December Boys, a 2007 release that nobody reading this has watched. I say this with confidence because the domestic box office total of December Boys was $46,474. No, there isn’t a million that goes with that. The movie made less than what an Escalade costs. Ergo, virtually no one has seen and/or remembers Daniel Radcliffe from anything other than Harry Potter.

The Woman in Black represents the first opportunity for Radcliffe to define himself in non-wizardly terms. He has exited the (somewhat) friendly confines of Hogwarts and signed up for a gothic project, following the playbook of former Potter-mate Robert Pattinson. The Woman in Black will not be a Twilight type of franchise, of course, but it is an interesting aspect of the project nonetheless.

The plot for the movie is that in the early 20th century, The Woman in Black is a horror mystery. Radcliffe’s character, Harry Pott…err, Arthur Kipps is a widower left to care for his four-year-old son (poor Ginny Weasley). Kipps is an attorney placed in charge of another mother who recently died (poor Hermione?). As he investigates the estate and meets with the dead woman’s children, he begins to experience various paranormal sightings involving her, the proverbial Woman in Black, and her children. Radcliffe’s character must unravel the mystery before Voldemor…err, some evil entity slays all of the innocents in the area.

Produced for a modest $15 million, The Woman in Black is the perfect post-Potter project for Radcliffe. Expectations will be low but given the name recognition of the lead and the renewed popularity of the genre, this is a guaranteed money maker. No, it will not earn $962 million worldwide, but The Woman in Black should be a solid addition to Radcliffe’s resume as a lead actor. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Woman in Black
Main Cast Daniel Radcliffe
Supporting Cast Ciaran Hinds, Liz White, Janet McTeer, Alisa Khazanova, Tim McMullan, Roger Allam, Daniel Cerqueira, Shaun Dooley, Mary Stockley, Cathy Sara, David Burke, Victor McGuire, Lucy May Barker
Director James Watkins
Screenwriter Jane Goldman
Distributor CBS Films
Rating PG-13
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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