Stephen King is an institution – it’s as true these days as it was during the late 70’s and early 80’s, when his best-selling novels turned him into a household name and helped propel horror fiction truly into the mainstream. While the adaptations of his short stories and novels – on the big-screen and the small – have been decidedly uneven, we’ve been seeing a real resurgence in King films lately. It helps that King – now in his 60’s – has been turning out some of his best work ever.
We have an updated film of his first published novel, Carrie, in theaters later this year, the TV mini-series version of his epic Under The Dome coming in June, and a possible prequel to the Stanley Kubrick’s classic The Shining, with King’s own sequel novel, Doctor Sleep, on its way this fall. Now, on the heels of the report that J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot is in talks to adapt the recent time-travel novel 11/22/63 for television, King’s more straight-forward zombie-thriller Cell has found a director in Paranormal Activity 2 helmer Tod Williams.
The director news comes from Shock Til You Drop – John Cusack will star as Clay Riddell, who in the book is a struggling artist about to celebrate the sale of his first graphic novel by re-connecting with his semi-estranged wife and son. He becomes stranded in Boston when a mysterious signal is broadcast across the entire globe’s mobile communications network, instantly re-programming turning anyone listening violent, mindless, and homicidal.
Cell was originally published in 2006, and while Hostel director Eli Roth was once set to direct, he departed the project in 2009. News about Cell faded into the background as the more high-profile King projects took center-stage, but with a star and director on board, the film will go before cameras in the fall with a script co-written by King and Adam Alleca (The Last House on the Left).
Given the current zombie-craze which has swept through popular media, Cell could jump to the front of the pack if adapted correctly – or get lost in the shuffle if botched. The “zombies” in Cell have more in common with the rage-fueled cannibal swarm of 28 Days Later than the re-animated corpses of The Walking Dead. The book is quite a ride, with a unique spin on the genre and plenty of gruesome set-pieces.
More on the making of Cell as the project develops. In the meantime, Under The Dome premieres on CBS in June, and Kimberly Pierce’s Carrie opens on October 18, 2013.
Source: Shock Til You Drop