Tag Archives: The Talisman

Steven Spielberg & The Duffer Brothers Team To Tackle Stephen King & Peter Straub’s The Talisman

In 1982, Steven Spielberg was so enamored by The Talisman, the fantasy horror book by Stephen King and Peter Straub, that two years before the book was published, he acquired the screen rights outright and in perpetuity.

He then spent the next 35-plus years developing it as a movie, trying in vain to find a way into the story.

Stephen King & Peter Straub

Now, The Talisman may finally be ready to reach screens but, as befits the times, as a series.

And, as it sometimes takes a village to raise a project, Spielberg has assembled some mighty collaborators to help him make the adaptation a reality.

The Duffer Brothers, whose own Stranger Things owes more than a few debts to King’s work, will executive produce a series adapting the book, that will be produced by Netflix in association with Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Paramount Television Studios.

The Duffer Brothers

Curtis Gwinn, who worked as a writer-exec producer on Duffers’ Stranger Things, will act as writer and showrunner of the project, which is in development. With deals still being sewn up and in negotiations, Netflix and the production parties involved had no comment.

Talisman tells of a 12-year old boy named Jack Sawyer who sets off on an epic road-trip quest in order to save his dying mother’s life. He is in search of the Talisman, a powerful relic that can not only heal his mother but, as he learns, save the world. Sawyer’s journey criss-crosses two realities: the America we know and its dangerous, fantasy-world twin, The Territories.

The book was an instant best-seller when it hit stories in 1984 and King and Straub reunited for a sequel in 2001. On the adaptation front, the most recent developments occurred inn 2019 when Mike Barker, who directed several episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, was involved in what was then being envisioned as a feature.

For the new take on Talisman, Matt and Ross Duffer will exec produce via their Monkey Massacre Productions while Spielberg exec produces via Amblin Television along with partners Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. King will also exec produce as will Paramount Television.

Todd Cohen will oversee day-to-day development on the project for Amblin, along with Spielberg, Frank, and Falvey.

After close to 50 years, King’s work remains incredibly popular in Hollywood thanks to his deep bench of best-sellers and recent success such as the recent It adaptations. The Running Man and a Pet Sematary prequel are among his works in development. King is repped by Paradigm and Gang Tyre.

A self-described geek, Gwinn first started out in comedy before becoming a writer-producer on the fourth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead. That darker genre path led to him working with Damon Lindelof on HBO’s The Leftovers, Kurt Sutter’s gritty Medieval drama The Bastard Executioner and Netflix’s Narcos. He is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Lev Ginsburg of Ginsburg Daniels.

The Duffers are currently readying season four of Stranger Things which is expected to bow later this year. The series remains one of Netflix’s signature and most popular shows.

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter

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Mike Barker To Direct Adaptation of The Talisman

Mike Barker (The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo, Outlander) will be directing The Talisman feature film adaptation based on Stephen King and Peter Straub’s 1984 bestselling fantasy novel.

The Talisman follows Jack Sawyer, a young boy in possession of a powerful talisman that can save his mother’s life, who is forced to go on the run from the inhabitants of a magical parallel universe who have discovered how to travel between worlds.

King and Straub wrote a follow-up novel, Black House, in 2001, which follows a now-adult Jack as a retired Los Angeles homicide detective trying to solve a series of murders in a small Wisconsin town.

From Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners and The Kennedy/Marshall Company, the feature will be produced by Frank Marshall while former Amblin CEO Michael Wright will executive produce. Chris Sparling (Buried) is attached to write the adapted screenplay.

The Talisman joins the ever-growing list of big-screen Stephen King adaptations in the works. Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch’s reimagining of Pet Sematary will arrive in theaters on April 5. IT: Chapter Two and Doctor Sleep are both in post-production at Warner Bros. King’s work can also be seen on the small screen, as The Outsider is currently in production at HBO. Mr. Mercedes was also recently renewed for a third season by Audience Network.

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Josh Boone To Write Film Adaptation of Stephen King’s The Talisman

The Fault in Our Stars and New Mutants writer Josh Boone is set to write the big screen adaptation of the Stephen King and Peter Straub novel “The Talisman,”. The novel was released in 1984 and was nominated for both the Locus and World Fantasy Awards in 1985. They wrote a sequel to “The Talisman” called “Black House” in 2001. There is reportedly a third book in the works. The adaptation comes to us from Amblin Entertainment, which had originally been planning the project as a television series. Frank Marshall will produce the film with Michael Wright will executive produce.

The description of “The Talisman” reads: “Why had twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer’s mother frantically moved the two of them from Rodeo Drive to a New York City apartment to the Alhambra, a fading ocean resort and shuttered amusement park in New Hampshire? Who or what is she running from? She is dying . . . and even young Jack knows she can’t outrun death. But only he can save her—for he has been chosen to search for a prize across an epic landscape of dangers and lies, a realm of innocents and monsters, where everything Jack loves is on the line.”

Boone was writing an adaptation of King’s “The Stand,” though the project was put on hold. King also had him write an adaptation of “The Revival,” which is in development. The Dark Tower and IT are the most recent Stephen King works to be adapted to the big screen.

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