Shooting has begun in and around the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose for the movie Winchester, the earlier announced supernatural thriller starring Helen Mirren as Sarah Winchester. Via a press release and a notice in the Mercury-News, some location shooting began Wednesday, but the stars of the picture, including Mirren and Terminator Genisys star Jason Clarke, aren't expected to be doing any shooting here in the Bay Area until May. They're currently on set in Australia, which is home base for writing director duo Michael and Peter Spierig, the brothers behind the 2009 film Daybreakers, and the upcoming Saw: Legacy.
The film promises to "take audiences inside the labyrinth-like house that is believed to be one of the most haunted places in the world," telling the now mostly debunked tale of Winchester rifle heiress Sarah Winchester who over many years used her fortune to continuously add on to her San Jose mansion, incorporating trick doors and stairs that lead nowhere in order to help outwit the ghosts she believed were chasing her and her family around. The house would ultimately contain more than 160 rooms, and has become San Jose's most famous tourist attraction, and certainly one of the oddest landmarks of the Bay Area. (In 2013, it also made an appearance on Ghost Adventures.)
From a description we heard last year, Clarke plays "skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist Eric Price [who] is dispatched to the estate to evaluate [Winchester's] state of mind, [and] he discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all."
As Mercury-News columnist Sal Pizarro quips, "Nowadays, the Winchester Mystery House is a city landmark and well-visited tourist attraction nestled among Santana Row, Westfield Valley Fair... The scariest thing in the vicinity is the traffic, and nobody wants to make a movie about that."