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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK
Hammer horror films set to return
Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee also played the lead in The Curse of Frankenstein
Cult Hammer horror films will return to the big screen after the company behind the movies was sold to a group headed by Big Brother creator John de Mol.

At least $50m (25m) will be spent on new horror films after British company Hammer Film Productions was sold to Dutch consortium Cyrte Investments.

The new owners have also acquired the Hammer group's back catalogue.

It includes almost 300 titles such as the famous Dracula series, which made actor Christopher Lee a household name.

The company was bought for an undisclosed sum.

Mobile phones

Other famous Hammer films include The Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy.

Hammer Horror Classics
The Curse of Frankenstein - 1957
Dracula -1958
The Mummy - 1959
The Brides of Dracula - 1960
The Curse of the Werewolf - 1961

Simon Oakes, head of the management team for the consortium, described Hammer as "a great British brand" and said the group wanted to develop Hammer's "global potential".

The team has plans to target "a new generation of horror lovers" via mobile phones and the internet, he said.

The film company was founded in the 1930s but it was not until the 1950s that its name became synonymous with the horror genre. The company produced other genres including science fiction and comedies.

It is the second time Hammer Film Productions has been sold to private equity investors.

It was bought in February 2000 by a consortium including advertising guru and art collector Charles Saatchi, but no films have been produced since.

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