Stephen King's 'The Talisman' Movie In The Works From 'The Handmaid's Tale' Director

A film adaptation of The Talisman, the massive novel by Stephen King and Peter Straub, is in the works with filmmaker Mike Barker, Collider reports.

Barker is best known for his TV work, having directed episodes of Fargo, Outlander, and Broadchurch as well as numerous episodes of the Hulu hit The Handmaid's Tale. He is not without his feature film credits as well, including A Good Woman and Shattered.

In the novel, twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer sets out from New Hampshire in a bid to save his mother, who is dying from cancer, by finding a crystal called "the Talisman." Jack's journey takes him simultaneously through the American heartland and "the Territories," a strange fantasy land which is set in a universe parallel to that of Jack's United States. Individuals in the Territories have "twinners," or parallel individuals, in our world.

Fans of King will probably guess that The Talisman is one of the numerous books he has written which ties into the world of The Dark Tower, his sprawling, multi-novel epic that moves through dimensions and generations.

The Talisman was nominated for both the Locus and World Fantasy Awards in 1985, and in 2001, King and Straub wrote a sequel, Black House, which picks up with a now-adult Jack as a retired Los Angeles cop trying to solve a series of murders in a small town. Wikipedia (whose synopses we have been using because it's been a decade since I looked at these books) indicates that the Jack Sawyer books are a planned trilogy, which likely makes for tempting filmmaking.

The Talisman has been optioned numerous times in the last 35 years and has been in and out of development hell a few times. It was adapted into a 2008 short film by Mathieu Ratthe (which you can check out below), although that was not an official adaptation.

Its comic book adaptation was also cut short: Del Rey planned a 24-issue series, but only six ever came out.

There is currently an embarrassment of Stephen King riches on TV and in the movies, the likes of which we haven't seen since the late '80s and early '90s. Pet Sematary will open in theaters soon, and It Chapter Two will be around this year as well. Meanwhile, TV series like Mr. Mercedes and Castle Rock are chugging right along. All told there are about a dozen King-based projects in production, post-production, or distribution right now.



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