Despite the best/worst efforts of The Mist TV show and The Dark Tower, Stephen King adaptations are still a big deal in Hollywood, and now yet another one is getting lined up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Wan (director of The Conjuring) and Roy Lee (a producer on It) are developing an adaptation of King’s 1987 sci-fi novel The Tommyknockers, and though it doesn’t have a studio attached yet, the project is apparently being shopped around now and THR expects it to “garner keen interest.”
This is all being done with Larry Sanitsky, who produced ABC’s miniseries adaptation of the book in 1993 and now controls the rights, and apparently the pitch he has sent to the studios and streaming services notes that the story’s themes of “the threat of nuclear power, the danger of mass hysteria, and the absurdity of technical evolution run amuck” are “as relevant today as the day the novel was written.”
Naturally, Sanitsky doesn’t mention the fact that The Tommyknockers—despite selling a ton of copies—isn’t very good. King himself dismissed it as “an awful book” in a Rolling Stone interview, explaining that it was the last one he wrote before he stopped using cocaine, but it’s not like there haven’t been questionable King adaptations in the past. Anyway, the original book is about a small town in Maine (if you can believe that) where everyone is being driven crazy by gas coming out of a crashed alien spaceship. It’s like H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out Of Space” but with some metaphors about King’s experience with substance abuse.