Sometimes it takes a long time for a movie to get made. James Cameron worked on Alita: Battle Angel for nearly 20 years. But Steven Spielberg has him beat by a country mile with his latest project. Spielberg is finally bringing Stephen King and Peter Straub’s The Talisman to life with some help from Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The story behind The Talisman is pretty unusual. Often times, directors, actors, or producers will find a story that grabs them and ‘option’ it so that they can make a film or show out of it. Sometimes the project happens, and other times it peters out and the rights default back to the creator. Spielberg bought the rights to The Talisman right when the book came out in 1984–nearly 40 years ago. Not only that, he also bought the rights in perpetuity, meaning that if someone was going to make The Talisman, it would either be Spielberg himself or someone he hand picked.
Now, it’s finally happening. Spielberg is going to make a television show out of The Talisman for Netflix. In an especially small-world-snake-eating-its-tail moment, Spielberg has tapped the Duffer Brothers to executive produce the series. The Duffer Brothers are the minds behind one of Netflix’s most popular original series, Stranger Things, a story heavily inspired by Stephen King, from the red-outline text on the title card to the super-powered kid fighting otherworldly monsters.
Spielberg and the Duffer Brothers will produce the show in association with Spielberg’s own Amblin Entertainment and with Paramount Television Studios. Curtis Gwinn, who worked as both a writer and executive producer on Stranger Things, will be the showrunner for the project, which THR says is already in development.
The Talisman is the story of a 12-year-old-boy named Jack Sawyer, who sets off on a road trip to find The Talisman, a mystical item that can save his dying mother’s life. The roadtrip will take him not just across America itself, but also to its alternate-dimension twin, The Territories, where everyone has a double and things are much more dangerous. It has all the hallmarks of a Stephen King story: a boy on the verge of becoming a teenager, dual realities, a gunslinger, a roadtrip, even werewolves. It’s all here. Stories about young kids in supernatural situations are exactly the sort of thing we often expect from Spielberg and the Duffer Brothers, too.
The Talisman has no current release date or time frame, as it is in very early development. The Duffer Brothers are working on Stranger Things Season 4, and Stephen King has a full dozen stories in some stage of production or pre-production, so the wait on this series might be a long one.
Image credit: Getty Images/Matt Winkelmeyer/Staff