Stephen King’s stories are full of familiar feelings and fictional locations, like Derry, Maine⏤the town that acts as the backdrop for many of his most famously chilling stories. Recently, a fictional location from one of King’s latest stories became real for a short period.
According to reports from both Patch.com and the Ridgefield Playhouse, locals who live in Ridgefield, Connecticut, found that the Ridgefield Playhouse had gone through a strange metamorphosis, becoming Gates Falls High School. This is very fitting, as the playhouse began its life as part of the Ridgefield High School before becoming a theater. It isn’t hard to see why crews picked this building for the task, as the Ridgefield Playhouse retains much of its original school architecture, making it simple to transform.
The playhouse is being used for Netflix’s upcoming movie Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, which is slated for release at some point in 2022. According to reports, six scenes from the film were shot at the playhouse over the weekend, suggesting that it will be a regular sight in the movie.
The movie is being directed by John Lee Hancock, a man known for several big Hollywood movies including Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side, and The Rookie. The story is based on a Stephen King novella of the same name, found in the 2020 collection If It Bleeds.
The book’s story follows Craig, a young man who gets a job working for the retired Mr. Harrigan. Mr. Harrigan and Craig get on well, and Mr. Harrigan gives Craig a winning lottery ticket as a gift. To say thank you, Craig uses the money to buy Mr. Harrigan a cell phone. When Mr. Harrigan passes, Craig finds that texting the phone he gave to the old man leads to strange things happening around him, suggesting that something supernatural might be at work.
The film stars several big names, including legendary actor Donald Sutherland in the role of Mr. Harrigan. He will be joined by Jaeden Martell as Craig. Martell has worked on previous King-inspired projects before, having played Bill Denbrough in 2017’s It and its 2019 sequel, so he’s no stranger to terrifying situations.
This isn’t the first time that the film has drawn the attention of Connecticut locals, either. Earlier in the year, the film’s crew descended on Washington Street in South Norwalk for another location shoot that lasted several days, suggesting that the film is keen on making King’s supernatural tale feel as realistic as possible.