The Talisman, a fantasy novel by Stephen King and Peter Straub, came out in 1984, and soon after, Steven Spielberg bought the rights to make the film adaptation. After close to four decades, The Talisman remains unmade by Spielberg, but after years of rumors and hopes, it looks as though Spielberg’s Talisman adaptation might finally be seeing the light of day.
However, although Steven Spielberg envisioned The Talisman as a film, it looks like this adaptation will become a series for Netflix. Fittingly, the Duffer brothers – whose Stranger Things is full of nostalgia for the work of both Stephen King and Steven Spielberg – will be executive producing the series. The series will be produced by Netflix with Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Paramount Television Studios.
The adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s The Talisman will be written by Curtis Gwinn, who will also be the series’ showrunner. Gwinn has also worked with the Duffer brothers on Stranger Things as a writer and executive producer, and has previously written for such shows as The Walking Dead, Narcos, and The Leftovers.
While it’s not clear who will direct The Talisman as a series, Mike Barker, who directed several episodes of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale series, was in talks to direct the project when it was envisioned as a film. Considering that Barker has previous experience in television directing and literary adaptations, it doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility that Barker could also direct at least some of The Talisman now that it will be a Netflix series.
Stephen King and Peter Straub’s The Talisman tells the story of Jack Sawyer, a 12-year-old boy who goes on a road trip to find the Talisman, a relic that can save his dying mother’s life. Jack learns that this item can also help him save the world, as his quest takes him through America, and also another reality known as The Territories. Both the Duffer brothers and Spielberg have had extensive histories of telling stories that take place in multiple realities, with Stranger Things telling the story of the Upside Down, while Ready Player One and the Spielberg-produced Poltergeist also told stories that took place in two different worlds.
While this Stephen King and Peter Straub book certainly sounds like there’s enough material in The Talisman to make an entire series, the book also received a sequel entitled Black House. The book, which was released in 2001, follows Jack as an adult, who is now a retired Los Angeles homicide detective solving murders in a small town in Wisconsin. Jack also has ties to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and the character also has a small appearance in The Tommyknockers.
The Talisman is just one of several Stephen King books in the process of becoming a series. In addition to The Talisman, Lisey’s Story is reportedly coming to Apple TV+, while Sleeping Beauties is being developed for AMC, and Revelations looks to be in the works at The CW. But with the impressive team behind The Talisman, and Stephen Spielberg’s passion project finally getting made, The Talisman certainly seems like one of the more highly-anticipated Stephen King adaptations on the horizon.