James Wan Is Adapting Stephen King’s ‘The Tommyknockers’
Stephen King’s classics are back in a big way, with the success of last year’s IT and Hulu’s upcoming Castle Rock anthology series. It’s no wonder that studios are looking for their next hit from the master of horror. That next project may come from an unexpected place, as James Wan is working on an adaption of King’s horror sci-fi novel The Tommyknockers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Conjuring director is teaming up with Roy Lee, the producer of IT, and Larry Sanitsky, who produced the 1993 television miniseries of the book, to produce the film. Wan’s theatrical adaptation package was sent out to studios — including Netflix — on Thursday ahead of the holiday weekend.
The Tommyknockers takes place in a small town in Maine (shocker) whose inhabitants have become tainted by a mysterious gas from an alien spacecraft. The people start behaving weirdly, joining a kind of hive mind, and the only person completely immune to it is a man with a steel plate in his head from a past surgery. Themes include the horrors and dangers of radiation fallout, addiction, the corruption of power.
Now, I say that The Tommyknockers is an unexpected choice because it’s far from King fans’ favorite work, and even Stephen King himself has said that he disliked the book looking back. It was written at the height of his own period of addiction, and King said his writing suffered because of it and it was the last book he wrote before he started cleaning up his act. However, the ’90s miniseries adaptation starring Jimmy Smits did pretty well. Plus, James Wan is one of our best working horror filmmakers today. The Tommyknockers wouldn’t have been my first guess for a King-Wan combo, but I’m definitely excited to see it.
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