Stephen King in 2011, 12 November 2011 – Wikimedia Commons/Stephanie Lawton.
CAIRO – 21 April 2018: Universal Studios have won the bidding war to go ahead and adapt Stephen King's 1987 science-fiction horror novel "The Tommyknockers" into a feature film.
James Wan, producer of the "The Conjuring" and director of the upcoming "Aquaman" movie, is on-board as one of the producers for the project, alongside Roy Lee, and he is also eyeing the director's seat for the film. Lee produced 2017's blockbuster horror hit "It", which is also another King adaptation and has an upcoming sequel in production. Lastly on-board the project is Larry Sanitsky, the executive producer behind the last attempt at adapting "The Tommyknockers" into a 1993 ABC miniseries.
King's book tells the story of a writer living in a small town in Maine, who uncovers a strange artifact in the woods that is eventually revealed to be an alien spacecraft. Soon after, the device begins to emit a strange gas of sorts that causes bizarre symptoms on the townsfolk and even electronic disruptions. The townspeople begin to experience a heightened intellect, along with physical degradation and a bizarre tendency to create strange machines, as well a loss of their identity and humanity, as they are effectively possessed by the aliens from the ship. The only person left normal is a man with a metal plate in his head; however, he finds himself helpless against this unusual alien takeover.
Despite being the third-bestselling book of the 1980s, with 1.4 million copies sold, reception for the book was less than positive. Perhaps no one hated the book more than the man who wrote it himself – Stephen King.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, King remarked, "[The Tommyknockers] is an awful book. That was the last one I wrote before I cleaned up my act. And I've thought about it a lot lately and said to myself, ‘There's really a good book in here, underneath all the sort of spurious energy that cocaine provides, and I ought to go back.’ The book is about 700 pages long, and I'm thinking, there's probably a good 350-page novel in there."
It remains to be seen how the story fares adapted to the big screen. There is no doubt that it has much potential to tell a rather original horror film story, alike some that have recently proven to be critical and commercial successes, as shown by the latest example of "A Quiet Place".