Yet another Stephen King book is becoming a movie: Suffer the Little Children, the author's 1972 short story. A supernatural thriller on par with King's extensive sci-fi/horror universe, it centers around a recently divorced first grade teacher who begins to notice bizarre and unsettling behavior among her students, including a young boy who taunts her into thinking he and his classmates' bodies have been overtaken by creatures and are now posing as doppelgänger children. Is it her own demented paranoia, or is there really something dastardly happening in her town?
The news comes on the heels of IT's record opening weekend, which saw the film — a feature adaptation of King's 1986 novel — draw in a worldwide total of $185 million, far beyond even the most ambitious predictions. It marks the third largest opening weekend of 2017 and the biggest for a horror movie ever, besting Paranormal Activity 3's 2015 benchmark of $52.6 million. King's work, of course, has been translated to screen numerous times. Some, like Carrie and The Shining, have become some of the most widely regarded in cinematic history, while others, like this summer's The Dark Tower, have fared far more unfavorably. But IT's recent success certainly bodes well for future endeavors.
As reported by Deadline, Suffer the Little Children is being adapted by writer-director Sean Carter, who just completed his first feature film with upcoming horror thriller Keep Watching (It has a trailer, but no release date yet). Craig Flores (300) and Nicolas Chartier (The Hurt Locker) — both of whom worked on Keep Watching — will produce the picture, as well as Sriram Das (Into The Forest).
“Stephen King’s is one of today’s most prolific storytellers, and the concepts that he conjures immediately spark curiosity and a desire to follow him down the rabbit hole,” Flores told Deadline in a statement. Added Carter:
"The Stephen King aesthetic has been imprinted into my psyche since I was a teenager, and Suffer the Little Children fits right into that classic King paradigm: a tragically flawed lead character put into a shockingly unimaginable scenario. It’s a tiny peek into a mythology that I can’t wait to expand into a full-length movie."
How Suffer the Little Children pans out will be interesting to watch. Like IT's Andy Muschietti, Carter is a relatively new director, but with Keep Watching still in the pipeline, it's difficult to say much about his vision or approach just yet. The movie could be another win for the lore of Stephen King, but it could just as easily be a flop. Only time will tell.
A release date for Suffer The Little Children has not yet been announced.
- The Dark Tower (2017) release date: Aug 04, 2017
- IT (2017) release date: Sep 08, 2017