For nearly as long as prolific horror author Stephen King has been writing novels and short stories, Hollywood has been adapting them for both the big and small screens. While the overall batting average for King adaptations isn’t necessarily the greatest, one King-based movie that generally garnered acclaim was 2007’s haunted hotel room tale 1408, starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Now, nearly a decade later, Cusack and Jackson are about to reunite in a new film based on King’s 2006 novel Cell. To promote the release, a Korean news source has posted an extended series of clips from the film online, which can be viewed above.
Based on one of the famously wordy King’s shorter novels – which clocks in at a “mere” 350 pages – Cell centers on Clay Riddell (Cusack), a New England artist who bears early witness to a frightening phenomenon of what may ultimately prove to be apocalyptic proportions. A mysterious signal traveling over global cell phone networks is causing users to transform into murderous, zombie-like creatures, leaving Clay stranded away from his young son. Joining up with two fellow survivors – subway conductor Tom McCourt (Jackson) and teenage girl Alice Maxwell (Orphan’s Isabelle Fuhrman) – Clay sets off on a journey to reunite with his vulnerable offspring, encountering both bloodthirsty “phoners” and other remaining humans along the way.
Cell’s impending arrival is the culmination of a long gestation period for the troubled adaptation, with film rights to the book having been initially purchased by Dimension Films not long after it arrived on shelves. Genre mainstay Eli Roth (Hostel, The Green Inferno) was originally attached to direct the project, but eventually decided to move on due to creative differences with Dimension executives. Dimension ultimately opted to part ways with Cell as well, effectively canning the screenplay they had commissioned from 1408 scribes Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.
In late 2009, King himself announced that he had finished work on a new script for Cell, going as far as to state that he fixed some of his own mistakes from the book in the process. Cusack signed on to star in 2012, with the film finally entering production in early 2014. Saban Films acquired distribution rights in 2015, leading to this summer’s theatrical and VOD bow. Sadly, those who would prefer to see Cell in a theater may have to travel for the privilege, as despite its cast and famous author, the film is scheduled to only get a limited release.
Will Cell live up to 1408, and become another worthy Stephen King adaptation? The film’s delayed release would suggest that it may not, but that likely won’t stop hardcore King fans from accepting its call regardless.
Cell arrives on VOD on June 10, 2016, before beginning a limited theatrical run on July 8, 2016.
Source: Bloody Disgusting
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