FORMER Coronation Street star and X Factor victor Shayne Ward is to play the lead role in new British horror film Skendleby.

Award-winning actor Shayne will star as archaeologist Dr. Giles Glover in the full-length feature which is the debut cinema release from Doctor Rebekah Productions.

The company- led by Rebekah Louisa Smith of film festival consultancy business The Film Festival Doctor- will also distribute the picture.

Shayne said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining a great cast and crew on an exciting new British film. The script is brilliant and I can’t wait to get going. I loved making my last film and the part I have landed has huge potential. I hope the film will be a big hit and I know audiences love the horror genre and will be keen to support an all British project.”

Skendleby is Shayne’s second film. He also plays a lead role in psychological thriller Stairs, about a special ops unit, which is currently in post-production and hits screens later this year.

After winning ITV’s The X Factor in 2005, Shayne landed a string of top prizes for his portrayal of Aidan Connor in Coronation Street, including a National TV Award in 2016. He left the show as part of a ground-breaking storyline around male suicide.

Rebekah Louisa Smith added: “We are delighted to have signed Shayne up for the part. He proved his acting talent in Coronation Street and he is superb in Stairs. He is perfect for the role and we are very excited with the cast we have managed to assemble.

“I want to expand the company’s brand by producing our own high quality and commercially viable feature films like Skendleby. These will also have strong film festival appeal and international prestige. We will specialise in creating innovative and compelling storytelling for various niche markets and genres.

“Skendleby is a Great British horror film and the debut for my new production company. We are flying the flag for the UK film industry and the horror genre. The Britschlock movement starts here!”

Skendleby tells the frightening story of an ancient evil archeological curse lurking within the estate of Skendleby Hall in Lincolnshire. It will be filmed entirely in the UK with an all-British cast. Shooting begins in April for a 2020 release.

Other confirmed talent includes Mark Jackson- who has appeared in 20th Century Fox’s The Orville- as fellow archaeologist Dr. Steve Watkins. Holby City regular Niamh McGrady has also joined the cast. She starred alongside Patrick Stewart in an acclaimed Macbeth which wowed audiences in London and New York and also with Gillian Anderson in gritty drama The Fall.

The film is being directed by American filmmaker Stephen David Brooks (Flytrap) and produced by Alexa Waugh (I Love My Mum). Waugh joined Smith as her new company’s head of production and Brooks is in-house director. The business is also developing three of Nick Brown’s other works- Greenman Resurrection, The Dead Travel Fast and Dark Coven.

BAFTA-nominated composer Simon Boswell, who worked on Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave, has also been recruited to soundtrack the film.

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