CBS’s Under the Dome. Kimberly Pierce’s Carrie. Mercy. A Good Marriage. Those are all the projects based on Stephen King properties that will definitely get releases in the next near or so. If you expand that to include the proposed works in various stages of production — The Dark Tower, The Talisman, Joyland, and The Ten O’Clock People — then even a cynical King fan can get genuinely excited. With this many things in motion, the odds are in favor of a couple of those being really great, leaving the ass weasels behind.
According to a press release, King’s 2006 novel Cell — once an Eli Roth project — has landed John Cusack as its leading man, and will be directed by Tod “Kip” Williams. Granted, both of these guys have admittedly been attached for a while now, but the film hadn’t found its backing, and is no longer attached to Cargo Entertainment. The production companies Benaroya Pictures and Micellaneous Entertainment have formed an international sales company called International Film Trust (IFT), which has added Cell to their Cannes sales slate. Benaroya Pictures will be co-producing and financing, along with a handful of other producers.
Williams was the director of 2010’s sub-par Paranormal Activity 2 and 2004’s The Door in the Floor. The screenplay was written by Adam Alleca, who wrote the remake for The Last House on the Left. Everybody has their hopes up now, right?
This will be Cusack’s third round in a King adaptation, after the timeless Stand by Me and the visually awesome 1408. He’ll play Clay Riddell, a man who finds himself in a world where a signal is blasted across every mobile phone in the world, causing those who hear it to become mindless, violent drones, though not exactly zombies. Riddell and a clan of survivors make their way through New England searching for his wife and son. It’s not as Walking Dead as it sounds, or at least I hope Williams doesn’t go that route. The book has one of the more exhilaratingly violent opening sequences in any novel I’ve ever read, and I’ve wanted to see it put to film ever since. Cusack is far more competent than a lot of other actors and could give this film some emotional weight to all the gruesome acts. Or not. Whatever.
Principal photography is set to begin in September.