Recession a Boon for E1 Entertainment’s Acquisition of ‘Haunted Airman,’ Starring Robert Pattinson13 Jul, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Independent home video suppliers continue to step up their efforts in acquiring and distributing feature films, hoping to fill a void created by major studios cutting back on their own release schedules.
This studio pullback is giving some indies access to films with unprecedented levels of star power. Just ask Dan Gurlitz, VP of video for E1 Entertainment (formerly Koch). His company just picked up The Haunted Airman, a supernatural thriller starring red-hot Robert Pattinson, for Oct. 13 DVD release.
Pattinson was one of the stars of the megahit Twilight and will reprise his role as Edward Cullen in the sequel, now in post-production. He already was familiar to movie fans as Cedric Diggory in the “Harry Potter” movies.
“He’s the focus of this film entirely,” Gurlitz said. “It’s akin to a one-man tour de force.”
The Haunted Airman, which originally aired on the BBC in 2006, is based on Dennis Wheatley’s novel The Haunting of Tony Jugg. It’s about a wounded flight lieutenant (Pattinson) who retreats to Wales to recuperate. He suffers terrible nightmares and visions and suspects his psychiatrist (played by Julian Sands) may be trying to drive him crazy.
“The film is a story of descending madness, of betrayal,” Gurlitz said. “Robert Pattinson is at the very center of pop culture, and he is this film.”
Gurlitz said the timing of the film’s release coincides with both Halloween and the theatrical opening of the “Twilight” sequel.
“Everything Pattinson will be in high demand, renting and selling at equal velocity,” Gurlitz said. “Talk about having the stars aligned.”