Steven Spielberg has finally settled on a method of adapting Stephen King novel The Talisman and will team up with Stranger Things creators, the Duffer Brothers, as part of a big-budget Netflix production.
Some 40 years ago, in 1982, Spielberg acquired the rights to King’s fantasy horror book, securing the screen rights outright. After spending 35 years to consider the direction of the adaptation, Spielberg has decided to team up with Netflix to turn the 1000 word book into a series, and not a feature film.
“I feel that in the very near future, that’s going to be our richest collaboration,” he previously told Entertainment Weekly in 2018. “Universal bought the book for me, so it wasn’t optioned. It was an outright sale of the book. I’ve owned the book since ’82, and I’m hoping to get this movie made in the next couple of years. I’m not committing to the project as a director, I’m just saying that it’s something that I’ve wanted to see come to theatres for the last 35 years.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Curtis Gwinn, who worked as a writer and executive producer on the hit show Stranger Things, has agreed to act as writer and showrunner on the new Talisman project. Netflix has agreed on a deal which will see the new project produced by the streaming platform in collaboration with Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Paramount Television Studios.
The Duffer Brothers, who have long spoken of their admiration for both Spielberg and King, will act as executive producers of the new series through their Monkey Massacre Productions company. The report also reveals that Todd Cohen will on the project through Amblin, along with Spielberg, Frank and Falvey.
The series will tell the story of Jack Sawyer a “twelve year old who sets out from Arcadia Beach, New Hampshire in a bid to save his mother, who is dying from cancer, by finding a crystal called ‘the Talisman’,” the official novel synopsis reads. “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.
“Twinners’ births, deaths, and (it is intimated) other major life events are usually paralleled. Twinners can also “flip” or migrate to the other world, but only share the body of their alternate universe’s analogue. When flipped, the Twinner, or the actual person, will automatically start speaking and thinking the language of where they are flipping into subconsciously.”