Universal Wins Bidding War For Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers


The portioning of Stephen King’s oeuvre continues today, as Universal Pictures won a three-way bidding war against Netflix and Sony for Atomic Monster Productions’ feature film package centered on the author’s 1987 novel, The Tommyknockers. The project had been making the rounds following several studios’ rapid consumption of lingering King literature, prompted by the cyclopean success of Andy Muschietti’s IT.

King’s 558-page sci-fi horror pivots on the residents of Haven, Maine, who fall under the influence of a peculiar object buried in the woods. Atomic Monster Productions’ founder, James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious), is currently attached to produce but is said to be mulling over stepping behind the camera to direct, as well. Also producing are Roy Lee (The LEGO Movie) and Larry Sanitsky, the latter having executive produced ABC’s 1993 miniseries based on the King novel in question.

King’s body of work has been picked clean as of late, with little-to-no reverence. New Line and Warner Bros.’ IT, an adaptation of the author’s 1986 novel, and a remake of Tommy Lee Wallace’s 1990 supernatural horror drama made-for-television, hauled in a mammoth $700 million worldwide on a budget of just $35 million. Therein lies the motivation.

Stephen King

Most recently, Stephen King’s 862-page novel The Stand was picked up by CBS All Access for a miniseries treatment. Then, the “Master of Horror’s” narrative poem, The Bone Church, was snagged by David Ayer’s Cedar Park Entertainment, who plan to adapt the 20-stanza poesy into a television series.

While 2018 won’t feature much in the vein of King adaptations, 2019 is expected to see the release of Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch’s Pet Sematary remake and the hotly-anticipated sequel to Muschietti’s IT, starring Jessica Chastain, and rumoured to co-star James McAvoy and Bill Hader. Suffice it to say, it’s a good time to be a fan of the author and we look forward to seeing how The Tommyknockers develops from here.

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