We really need a name for 2017’s Stephen King movement.
2017’s deluge of Stephen King adaptations and announcements shows no sign of letting up. It looks like a movie based on the long-gestating Stephen King/ Peter Straub collaboration, “The Talisman” is back on track. Variety is reporting that Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars, New Mutants) has been tapped to write Amblin Entertainment’s adaptation of the 1984 novel. Boone had previously been pegged to adapt another unwieldy King story, his 823-page tome, “The Stand.” For now, it looks like “The Stand” project seems to have been shelved. Perhaps the stink coming off the 1994 miniseries scared everyone off.
“The Talisman” is another one of those King adaptations that have been bouncing around Hollywood for decades. Much like Columbia Pictures’ recent King vehicle, The Dark Tower, “The Talisman” is more of a fantasy epic than a horror novel. And unlike the sprawling (and often peculiar) seven-novel “Dark Tower” series, the shorter, tighter, “The Talisman” is an ideal candidate for the big screen treatment.
Here’s an official synopsis of the book on StephenKing.com:
Twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer embarks on an epic quest–a walk from the seacoast of New Hampshire to the California coast–to find the talisman that will save his dying mother’s life. Jack’s journey takes him into the Territories, a parallel medieval universe, where most people from his own universe have analogs called “twinners.” The queen of the Territories, Jack’s mother’s twinner, is also dying.
King will always be categorized as a horror writer but his diehard fans know that he poured his heart and soul into his self-professed magnum opus, “The Dark Tower” series. From 1982 until 2004, King crafted an intricate fantasy/sci-fi/horror universe that in a precursor to the MCU, connected all his most popular novels — Anthony Hopkins‘ Hearts in Atlantis character Ted Brautigan exists in the same shared universe as Idris Elba’s Gunslinger, and Pennywise from It (the rabbit hole goes deep!). If there was one title in King’s bibliography that could make amends for how badly Hollywood mishandled this summer’s Dark Tower movie, it’s “The Talisman.”
For the past couple decades, getting excited over announcements that “The Talisman” or “The Dark Tower” were going into production was on par with Charlie Brown thinking Lucy is going to let him kick that elusive football. And yet, here I am, in 2017, more optimistic than ever. The main reasons why are Amblin Entertainment and super producer Frank Marshall involvement. “The Talisman” is the most Spielbergian movie in King’s bibliography, and Spielberg himself has shown a past interest in getting the property off the ground. Also, when you factor in the current demand for King projects with the clout a producer like Frank Marshall brings to the table, a “The Talisman” movie doesn’t feel like such a pipe dream.