Paul Greengrass Is Making A Movie Adaptation Of Stephen King's New Novel, Fairy Tale

"All things serve the Beam" of Stephen King adaptations, including director Paul Greengrass, who has hitched himself to an adaptation of King's latest runaway bestseller, "Fairy Tale," published just this month. No sooner do we get a trailer for the upcoming Netflix film "Mr. Harrigan's Phone," based on the novella from King's "If It Bleeds" collection, than news of yet another adaptation lands across our desk, with its elf-infested typewriter.

Who remembers King's story, "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet?" Though "Fairy Tale" might sound like it, too, involves elves, the book's official Simon & Schuster publisher page describes it as "a spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war." Deadline reports that King sold Greengrass the "Fairy Tale" rights "at the usual $1 against a healthy backend."

Greengrass' last film, "News of the World," paired him with his old "Captain Phillips" collaborator, Tom Hanks, for a Western that received some mild awards buzz and went on to earn Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography, Original Score, Production Design, and Sound. Before that, he helmed "Jason Bourne" and "22 July," which marked a return to the kind of films he was making in the mid-2000s with "The Bourne Supremacy" and "United 93."

It sounds like Greengrass is looking to stretch his talents with a new sort of project in "Fairy Tale." King and Greengrass themselves confirmed the news about his adaptation, with King saying, "I'm a Paul Greengrass fan and think he's a wonderful choice for this film," and Greengrass saying, "'Fairy Tale' is a work of genius. A classic adventure story and also a disturbing contemporary allegory."

Portals and parallels

The publisher's description of "Fairy Tale" — that part about "a parallel world where good and evil are at war" — almost makes it sound like "The Stand," with a bit of Mid-World from "The Dark Tower" thrown in. But the similarities between "Fairy Tale" and other King stories don't end there. Said boy meets an aging "recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill," who promptly kicks the bucket and leaves him "a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe."

Substitute a phone for the cassette tape and you've got "Mr. Harrigan's Phone," set in a house like the Marsten one from "Salem's Lot." There's also a backyard shed that serves as "a portal to another world"—and an analog to the magical time travel closet in "11.22.63." Point being, that it sounds, superficially, at least, like King is mixing together familiar elements for this "Fairy Tale." However, the involvement of a director of Greengrass's caliber adds a very new wrinkle indeed.