Crimson Peak

Jessica Chastain as: Lady Lucille Sharpe
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Screenplay by: Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
Selected Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver
Running Time: 119min
Release Date: September 25, 2015 (Fantastic Fest)
Wide Release: October 16, 2015
Genre: Romance, Drama, Horror

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers.

Production Notes

Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Stone were originally cast, but both dropped out of the production. Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska took over their respective roles, making this film their second collaboration after Only Lovers Left Alive. Crimson Peak is also the second collaboration between Wasikowska and Chastain after starring together in Lawless. The film was titled Haunted Peak while under production, a title used only for the studio booking.

In October 2013, Chastain went through a full-body cast process for the film. She posted pictures on her Facebook of her getting her head, torso, and fists cast.

Principal photography began in Toronto at Pinewood Toronto Studios on February 10, and ended on May 14, 2014. On April 28, filming started on Queen Street South, between Main Street and King Street in Hamilton, Ontario. That section of roadway was closed to traffic and covered in topsoil to assist in the look of the setting. The gothic-looking Scottish Rite building to the west figured prominently. Filming also took place in Kingston, Ontario on April 14, 2014. The film features PJ Harvey’s cover of “Red Right Hand”.

Filming was originally to begin in February 2014 and set for an April 2015 release, but because of the problems production was pushed back for an October 16, 2015 release.

Jessica has learned to play piano for the film, and she had to learn pieces from the works of classical composer Fredric Chopin. To get into the character’s phyche, she decorated her trailer with Gothic imagery. She also said Del Toro provided Lucille’s primary psychological traits, her fears, insecurities. He added on the script notes her favorite smells (‘good tobacco’), and tastes (‘very bitter chocolate’), things that won’t be visible in the movie, but will still inform the character. “This is something that I always do as a character, but the problem is when the director is not involved then there’s a secret. When I’m playing something sometimes the director is like why is she doing that or they don’t understand the world that I’m coming from. But to have this and have a starting off point and have the secrets that have happened to Lucille from basically he’s written off her whole life up to the beginning of the movie, when he sees me play a scene now he understands oh that is because of this and because where she’s coming from or it’s because she doesn’t want to leave the house or she doesn’t like germs.

As of November 26, 2015, Crimson Peak has grossed $31.1 million in North America and $43 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $74 million, against a budget of $55 million. On its recepction, Crimson Peak has received generally positive reviews from critics. Chastain was praised by her work and she won a Saturn Awards as Best Supporting Actress, as well a Fangoria Chainsaw Awards.