2017 has shaped up to be the year of horror-meister Stephen King. Everyone knows about the high-profile projects released so far this year: two TV series, The Mist (terrible) and Mr. Mercedes (amazing so far), as well as a couple of blockbuster summer flicks, The Dark Tower (awful), and IT (early press is positive). Add to that two Netflix original films and you have a banner year for Mr. King. So far, Gerald's Game has received much more media attention than 1922.
Director Mike Flanagan (Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil) has tapped Carla Gugino (Watchmen, Wayward Pines) and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, Super 8) to star in the film version of the classic King novel. The supporting cast includes Henry Thomas (Sons of Liberty), Carel Struycken (The Addams Family), Kate Siegel (Hush), and Chiara Aurelia (Agent Carter).
Gerald’s Game follows husband and wife Gerald and Jessie Burlingame as they spend a weekend in a secluded lake house in Maine (of course), in an attempt to revitalize their sex life. After Jessie gets handcuffed to the bed posts, Gerald suddenly dies, leaving Jessie trapped. She slowly begins to starve, and must fend off a hungry stray dog (hello Cujo!) and a mysterious entity, whom she dubs ‘The Space Cowboy’ (who may or may not actually exist) that stares at her from the corner of the room. Since much of the narrative occurs inside Jessie’s head, Franklin will have his hands full translating the trippy nature of the plot to film, but he did a bang up job in Oculus, which mines similar territory.
Flanagan had this to say about the film:
'Gerald’s Game' has been my dream project for nearly 20 years. As a lifelong fan of Stephen King, it is a true honor to be trusted with this amazing material. I am deeply grateful to my longtime partner, Trevor Macy, and to my new partners at Netflix, for making this dream project a reality. This is one of the reasons I wanted to make movies in the first place.
Netflix has set a September 29, 2017 release date for Gerald's Game.
Announced in late 2016, the film adaptation of King's novella 1922 is being directed by Zak Hilditch (These Final Hours), from his own adapted screenplay.
The tale centers around Wilfred James, a farmer in Hemingford, Nebraska, who gives his own warped confession to his wife Arlette's murder. James enlists the help of his son to dump her body down the well behind their barn. But after he disposes of her body, he finds himself terrorized by rats and, as his life and psyche begins to unravel, becomes convinced his wife is haunting him. Just how much is real and how much is in James' head is unclear, which only adds to the intrigue.
If Hemingford sounds familiar to you King aficionados, it should: the town has been a setting for many King stories, from Children of the Corn, The Stand, and now 1922. Why Hemingford? Let Stephen King, the man himself, give you the answer, from a 2010 USA Weekend interview:
I originally used Hemingford Home in 'The Stand,' because I wanted to put Mother Abigail in the American heartland. That’s Nebraska. Hemingford was in the right place. … I love Nebraska and keep going back to it in my fiction — when I’m not in Maine, that is.
The movie stars Thomas Jane as Wilfred James, and Molly Parker as Arlette. Other cast members include Dylan Schmid, Kaitlyn Bernard, Brian D’Arcy James, and genre stalwart Neal McDonough.
Jane is no stranger to King's works, having starred previously in the feature film versions of Dreamcatcher and The Mist (which is MUCH better than the TV version).
Netflix has set a release date of October 20, 2017 for 1922. Mark your calendars!
Your turn: are you excited to see 1922 and Gerald's Game? How do you feel about all the King adaptations so far on 2017? Sound off in the comments section!