The Woman in Black is a 1983 novel that has thus far spawned a television movie, a radio special, a play, and now a feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe. The book is a classic ghost story, set in Victorian England and featuring the eponymous ghost who tortures the protagonist sent to investigate mysterious deaths in small town England. The BBC radio special was an adaptation of the book, as was the 1989 BBC television film (which means that the upcoming Radcliffe film is technically an eighties remake).
The play is a bit of an oddity, and a very successful one at that, having run for over twenty years now at London’s West End. It tells a story within a story, in which the protagonist from the other versions is now an old man who is staging a play of the events he experienced as a youth. The play thus tells two stories: a retelling of the original story of the haunting along with a return of the ghost during the staging of the play.
The new film version starring Daniel Radcliffe is set for a February release, and looks like it stays faithful to the novel rather than the play. The trailer is remarkably effective at setting up the mood and tension of an old school ghost story, though we’ll have to wait to see the finished film before we can be sure it doesn’t devolve into endless jump scares and cliches.