Though the current comic book movie revolution might be most heavily favoring superheroes and caped crusaders (and comic book adaptations that fall outside those categories haven’t quite been met with the same success), fans of comic book writer and novelist Joe Hill have plenty of reasons to hold out hope for a movie based on his dark fantasy series Locke & Key. Not the least of these is that Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote and and produced a pilot episode of a TV show based on the comics, is apparently still pushing hard to bring an adaptation to life.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this project was stuck in development hell, as it’s been almost a year since we heard word that Kurtzman was co-writing the screenplay for Locke & Key with Roberto Orci (Star Trek). Although both writers are currently occupied with a number of different projects, Kurtzman has given his assurances that Locke & Key is still a priority.
In an interview with Collider, Kurtzman talked enthusiastically about the development of Locke & Key and even revealed that he and Orci have found a new screenwriter to work on an adaptation of the script. Not only that, but the writing and producing partners are interested in making multiple films based on the Locke & Key comics:
“We’re going to make a movie! We’re really serious. Absolutely! We’re really, really serious. In fact, we have locked down on a writer who really came up with a brilliant way to take the best of the first couple graphic novels and play out a complete first movie story with a lot of promise of future movies, which is really our goal. But, I am as in love with it as you are. I believe in it so much, and I believe in Joe Hill. All I want is to make that movie… We’re very close… Hopefully, it will be out soon. We really loved it, too. But, it will live on as a movie now, and hopefully many.”
Kurtzman and Orci’s pilot for a Locke & Key TV show was originally commissioned by Fox, with Miranda Otto as as Nina Locke, Sarah Bolger as Kinsey, Jesse McCartney as Tyler and Skylar Gaertner as Bode. A lucky few people got to see the pilot at San Diego Comic-Con 2011 and it seemed to be almost universally liked by those who attended the screening, which makes it all the more tragic that Fox eventually turned down the series, as did the other networks that were approached. Though it’s not possible to watch the pilot anywhere, if you’re in the mood for torturing yourself about what might have been, you can check out the trailer online.
One factor that might spark a greater amount of interest in Locke & Key is the impending release of another film based on Hill’s works, Horns, which stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in the lead role as a young man with a troubled life who one day sprouts devilish horns with mind-manipulating powers. Meanwhile, Locke & Key is about a widow and her children who move into an old family home after the death of the kids’ father, only to find many strange goings-on in the town of Lovecraft, Massachusetts, and a strange and scattered collection of keys that open more than just ordinary doors.
Whether or not Kurtzman and Orci will successfully be able to turn Locke & Key into a multiple-movie franchise, however, will depend strongly upon the box office performance of the first film. With that in mind, it will be interesting to find out whether the script is being written with a PG-13 rating or if it will be transferred to the screen with all its darker moments intact.
Fans of Hill’s Locke & Key comics, tell us who your dream cast would be for the film and which screenwriter you’re hoping Kurtzman and Orci have chosen to write the screenplay. If you managed to see the pilot episode of Locke & Key at Comic-Con two years ago, tell us what you liked about it and what you think should be changed to fit the movie format.
Locke & Key is still in early development, but we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.