New Salem's Lot Movie Adds Broadway Star in Key Role

John Benjamin Hickey, who recently scored a Tony Award nomination for his work on The Inheritance, is set to appear in the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's Salem's Lot in the role of Father Callahan. The part was previously played by James Gallery in the 1979 TV miniseries based on the book, Nigel Anthony in a 1995 BBC radio play, and James Cromwell in the 2004 miniseries. While best known for his Broadway work, Hickey has some TV experience as well, having appeared in The Big C, In Treatment, The Good Wife, Modern Family, and Hannibal, among others. His big-screen credits include Pitch Perfect, Flags of Our Fathers, The Anniversary Party, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. 

Deadline, who first reported the casting, note that Hickey will join a cast that includes Lewis Pullman in the lead role of Ben Mears, Alfre Woodard as Dr. Cody, Makenzie Leigh as Susan Norton, Bill Camp as Matthew Burke, Spencer Treat Clark as Mike Ryerson, and Pilou Asbæk as Straker. Gary Daubermann, writer of the Annabelle series, is set to direct.

In the novel, Father Donald Callahan is Jerusalem's Lot's local Catholic priest, recruited by Mears and others to help stop a vampire occupation of the town. The violence and supernatural powers he experiences causes his faith to falter, though, and ultimately the plan to use his connection to God to turn the vampires away. He played only a minor role in the 1979 miniseries, but had a more significant role in the book, as well as in other adaptations.

As for Hickey, he is in preparation for his Broadway directorial debut, bringing his adaptation of Plaza Suite in from a sold-out run in Boston. Hollywood stars Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker headline the revival of the Neil Simon (The Odd Couple) comedy.

Salem's Lot is the latest in a long line of Stephen King projects to get a contemporary facelift, with movies like It and Pet Sematary making their way to theaters in recent years while Castle Rock brought together various King stories in a big mash-up as part of a fan-favorite Hulu show.

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Per the Deadline story, here's the movie's synopsis: In Salem's Lot, author Ben Mears returns to his childhood home of Jerusalem's Lot in search of inspiration for his next book, only to discover his hometown is being preyed upon by a bloodthirsty vampire.

The movie is set to be released in theaters on September 9, 2022.