Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Everyone has been so focused on the currently filming adaptation of The Dark Tower, the upcoming adaptation of It, and the ever-in-development big screen version of The Stand that we completely forgot that another Stephen King adaptation was on the way. Show of hands: who remembered that they were actually making a film version of Cell until right this moment, when the first trailer arrived?
Cell was published in 2006 and the movie rights were quickly scooped up, with Hostel‘s Eli Roth set to direct. Over the next decade, the film hot potato-ed from filmmaker to filmmaker and studio to studio. Eventually, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson (who starred in the King adaptation 1408 together) joined the cast and Paranormal Activity 2 director Tod Williams signed on to direct. And here we are. And here’s the trailer.
Like with the original novel, Cell is built around a ridiculous premise that feels like a parody of a Stephen King book a comedian cooked up for a bit. One day, everyone using a cell phone is driven insane and begins to viciously attack anyone near them. Those who weren’t on their phones when the incident occurred now find themselves in a sort-of-zombie-apocalypse, except that the these cell phone zombies aren’t undead and can communicate with each other and eventually engage in all kinds of bizarre science fiction shenanigans that can’t be summed up here because those who haven’t read the book will think I’m joking. Cell is lesser King, but it’s gnarly and weird and a brisk read – it skates by if you grad it on a curve. It’s too weird to completely dismiss.
Let’s just be honest about this: Cell the movie looks cheap. Not Syfy channel cheap, but too cheap to be attempting some of the stuff it appears to be attempting. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie (there are plenty of terrific horror films that look like they were made for pennies and prayers), but it should put any and all expectations in the right place. It’s little wonder that it’s debuting on on VOD an entire month before it hits theaters – there simply doesn’t seem to be much faith in this film. Even the poster, which you can check out below, looks like the work of a particularly lazy intern.
Then again, I’m not the kind of person who can easily say no to Jackson playing a Bible-quoting tough guy who marches through the post-apocalypse armed to the teeth. This trailer isn’t the most inspiring advertisement in the world, but like all Stephen King adaptations, I’m destined to see it.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Stephen King’s best-selling novel is brought to terrifying life in this mind-blowing thriller starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. At the Boston airport, Clay (Cusack) witnesses a scene of chaotic mayhem when an electronic signal turns hundreds of cell phone users into rabid killers. Desperate to find his estranged wife and son, Clay teams with a train driver (Jackson) to battle the horde of murderous “phoners” as the city descends into apocalyptic madness.
Cell hits Ultra VOD on June 10th before hitting theaters and regular VOD on July 8. Meanwhile, Jackson is being eyed for the lead role in Revival, another Stephen King adaptation.