The last time that Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack appeared on screen together, it was for the creepy thriller 1408, based on a short story by Stephen King. Seven years later, Samuel L. Jackson is joining John Cusack in yet another Stephen King adaptation – Cell.
John Cusack will play graphic artist Clay Riddell, who is fighting for his life after a mobile phone signal called “The Pulse” starts to wipe people’s brains. After humans receive this “Pulse” from their cell phones, they turn into vicious animals with a penchant for violence. Samuel L. Jackson is signed on to play Tom McCourt, a former soldier who is part of Clay’s pack of ‘normies.’ This band of uninfected humans flee Boston and try to defend themselves from the spread of the technological virus and its aftermath. If you couldn’t pick up on it already, Cell is an obvious homage to zombie films, highlighted by Stephen King partly dedicating his novel to George A. Romero.
The long-in-development project also has Paranormal Activity 2 director Tod Williams behind the lens and Stephen King on board as one of the screenwriters (with Adam Alleca, scribe of 2009’s The Last House on the Left). Originally, Eli Roth was attached to direct Cell for Dimension Films. That adaptation had an initial release date in 2009 but nothing ever came of it.
Cell is currently trying to attract a potential studio. Given the presence of Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack and Stephen King, as well as with the popularity of zombie-fueled entertainment like AMC’s The Walking Dead and World War Z, it will likely not be long before the film gets a buyer. Even though King’s novel got a mixed reception among genre fans, the prolific writer revealed that his script is altering the ending, which polarized some readers.
Production on Cell is slated to begin in January. We’ll let you know when we hear more.