The Turning (2020 film)

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The Turning
Directed byFloria Sigismondi
Produced byScott Bernstein
Roy Lee
Screenplay byCarey Hayes
Chad Hayes
Jade Bartlett
Based onThe Turn of the Screw
by Henry James
StarringMackenzie Davis
Finn Wolfhard
Brooklynn Prince
Joely Richardson
Music byNathan Barr
CinematographyDavid Ungaro
Edited byDuwayne Dunham
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • January 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)[2]
CountryUnited States

The Turning is an upcoming American supernatural horror film directed by Floria Sigismondi, written by Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes and Jade Bartlett, and is modern adaptation of the 1898 horror novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.[3] Steven Spielberg also serves as an executive producer. It will star Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince, and Joely Richardson.

The film is scheduled to be released on January 24, 2020 by Universal Pictures.


At a mysterious estate in the Maine countryside, newly appointed nanny Kate (Mackenzie Davis) is charged with the care of two disturbed orphans, Flora (Brooklynn Prince) and Miles (Finn Wolfhard). She quickly discovers that both the children and the house are harboring dark secrets and things may not be as they appear.[4]




The film first entered development in March 2016 and was described as a passion project for Steven Spielberg, who wanted to be involved in a scary film again.[6] The film adaptation went through two phases of production: first as Haunted with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo attached as director, then renamed as The Turning with Floria Sigismondi.[7][8]

Fresnadillo project (2016)[edit]

On March 9, 2016, Deadline reported that Amblin Entertainment was hiring Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to direct Haunted, which was inspired by Henry James' 1898 gothic ghost story, The Turn Of The Screw and would be scripted by Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes with Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment, John Middleton and Scott Bernstein as the producers.[7] Haunted, which was to shoot under the DreamWorks label, would have been one of the first new projects to move forward since DreamWorks, Amblin and Participant formed the new Amblin Partners late 2015, and DreamWorks, after distributing its movies through Disney since 2008, struck a new distribution deal with Universal.[7]

On August 1, 2016, it was announced that Alfre Woodard had signed on to the project.[9] Later that month, Rose Leslie joined the project as the lead.[10]

On September 21, 2016, five weeks before shooting, Steven Spielberg personally pulled the plug on the project[7] due to the page-one rewrite by Scott Z. Burns that caused seismic changes in the fabric of the story (altering characters, action, even the title) that it no longer resembled the project the studio signed on to make.[7] Spielberg and DreamWorks decided the best course of action was to fire Fresnadillo and Burns, going back to the original Hayes Brothers script and looking to start fresh development with a new director, despite $5 million having already been spent of the $17 million budget.[7]

Sigismondi project (2017 onward)[edit]

On August 24, 2017, Deadline reported that Amblin Entertainment had set Floria Sigismondi to direct Haunted, now renamed as The Turning,[8] which would feature a new draft by Jade Bartlett based on the original script by Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes. Production was expected to start in early 2018 with Scott Bernstein and Roy Lee still attached as producers.[11] In October 2017, Mackenzie Davis signed on to portray the lead role of the nanny.[12] In December 2017, it was announced that Finn Wolfhard was cast as one of the orphans.[13] In January 2018, Brooklynn Prince joined the cast.[14] In February 2018, the rest of the cast was announced as principal production commenced.[3] The casting of Joely Richardson was announced in January 2019.[15]


Principal production began in Ireland on February 14, 2018.[3] Filming began with the cast and crew behind strict security at Killruddery House in County Wicklow with Steven Spielberg present in Ireland to oversee the filming and production.[3][2] Filming for Wolfhard and Prince concluded on March 27, 2018.[16][17] Principal photography for the film completed on April 6, 2018.[18]


The film's score is composed by American composer, Nathan Barr.[19]


The film was originally scheduled to be released on February 22, 2019, by Universal Pictures.[20] In September 2018, the film was removed from Universal's release schedule, with DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World being released in its place.[21] It is scheduled to be released on January 24, 2020 with Universal releasing the film wide domestically and in select international territories.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Stephens, David (2018-02-21). "Steven Spielberg Producing Horror Film Starring Finn Wolfhard". ScreenRant. Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  3. ^ a b c d "#IrishFilm: Production underway in Wicklow on Spielberg-produced horror The Turning". Scannain. February 21, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  4. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 1, 2019). "Universal Dates Judd Apatow-Pete Davidson Comedy & DreamWorks' 'The Turning' For 2020". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 1, 2019). "Universal Dates Judd Apatow-Pete Davidson Comedy & DreamWorks' 'The Turning' For 2020". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  6. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (2016-03-09). "Juan Carlos Fresnadillo To Helm Ghost Tale 'Haunted' For DreamWorks". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Masters, Kim (2016-09-21). "DreamWorks Shuts Down Ghost Story 'Haunted' Weeks Before Start Date (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  8. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (2017-08-24). "Floria Sigismondi To Direct Henry James-Inspired 'The Turning' For Amblin". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  9. ^ Masters, Kim (2016-08-01). "Alfre Woodard Joins DreamWorks' 'Haunted' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  10. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (2016-08-11). "'Game Of Thrones' Rose Leslie To Star In DreamWorks' 'Haunted'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  11. ^ Evry, Max (2017-12-13). "Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard to Star in Horror Film The Turning". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  12. ^ Sneider, Jeff (2017-10-03). ""BLADE RUNNER 2049'S" MACKENZIE DAVIS TO STAR IN AMBLIN'S GHOST STORY "THE TURNING" (EXCLUSIVE)". The Hollywood Tracking Board. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (2017-12-13). "'Stranger Things' Actor Finn Wolfhard to Star in Haunted House Film 'The Turning' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  14. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (2018-01-04). "'Florida Project's Brooklynn Prince Joins Amblin Haunted House Tale 'The Turning'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 1, 2019). "Universal Dates Judd Apatow-Pete Davidson Comedy & DreamWorks' 'The Turning' For 2020". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  16. ^ Perkins, Ben (March 27, 2018). "#thatisawrap #theturningmovie #greatjob #floriasigismondi 🎥". Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  17. ^ Sigismondi, Floria (March 31, 2018). "I can't believe we finished shooting @finnwolfhardofficial and @thebrooklynnkimberly on @theturningmovie it was such a pleasure directing these two young talents!! One week left! #theturningmovie #ireland #femalefilmmakers". Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  18. ^ Sigismondi, Floria (April 6, 2018). "It's a wrap!! Just finished principle photography on The Turning!!!! #theturningmovie #mackenziedavis @finnwolfhardofficial @thebrooklynnkimberly @dennathomsen @amblin #niallgriegfulton #barbramarten #joelyrichardson #ireland #fff #womeninfilm #femalefilmmakers". Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  19. ^ Sprague, Mike (February 25, 2019). "Nathan Barr to Score Floria Sigismondi's 'The Turning'". Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 4, 2018). "Universal Dates Trio Of Amblin Pics: 'The Turning', 'A Dog's Journey' & 'Bios'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  21. ^ Hermanns, Grant (September 27, 2018). "How to Train Your Dragon 3 Release Date Moved Up One Week". Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  22. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 1, 2019). "Universal Dates Judd Apatow-Pete Davidson Comedy & DreamWorks' 'The Turning' For 2020". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 1, 2019.

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