Hollywood loves the epic struggles of high society, and this serves me well as I have a particular affinity to strange, larger-than-life historical figures. At the top of my list is, unequivocally, Citizen Kane. Although shrouded in fiction, the similarities to newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst were clear as day -- right down to the exorbitant estate. However, there is another story and palatial home in California that is finally getting some film recognition -- Sarah Winchester and her Mystery House.
Sarah married into the Winchester rifle family and led a life filled with privilege and depression. First, she lost a child. When she later lost her father-in-law and husband in rapid succession, she believed the family was cursed. Rumor has it that she went to spiritual advisors who claimed that the victims of Winchesters were plaguing her family, and she had to move west and build a house for herself and the ghosts of the gun. The catch: if she ever stopped construction on the house, she would die. Sarah moved to San Jose, where she bought a farm house that was continually worked on, day and night, for thirty-eight straight years until her death in 1922.
Empire now reports that Peter J. Tomasi has been hired by Andrew Lauren Productions to write the script. I assume that this is the same Peter J. Tomasi who has written graphic novels like Light Brigade. It will be interesting to see what angle the film will take. Will it be the story of a desperate woman taken advantage of by spiritual advisors, or a thriller about the creepy house themed by the number thirteen?