Mandalay Pictures Options Upcoming Novel Horns, By Stephen King's Son Joe Hill

It's only within the last few years that the real identity of novelist and comic book writer Joe Hill has been revealed. He's Stephen King's son, though for years Hill concealed that fact (his full name is Joseph Hillstrom King) in order to make his own fortune. Good for him, and now that he's established to some extent and the truth is out, hopefully his family name only helps. Now he's sold his novel Horns to Mandalay Pictures, which will develop it before hopefully selling the package to a studio for production.

Variety describes the novel, to be published early next year, as a love story backed with horror and vengeance that follows "a 26-year-old man who wakes up one morning from a blackout hangover and finds horns sprouting out of his head. As the horns grow bigger by the day, the reason why seems to lie in the unsolved murder of his girlfriend." Sounds a little creepy, a little absurdist, and perhaps actually a bit horrific as well. In other words: fun. I'd see it.

This is the second Hill novel to be optioned and put into development; his book Heart-Shaped Box is at Warner Bros, where at one point Neil Jordan was attached to write and direct with Akiva Goldsman producing. Jordan may not make the film, but at some point I wouldn't be surprised to see a film actually make it through the studio process. Heart-Shaped Box's story of a middle-aged rocker, a haunted suit and a road trip has a vaguely Neil Gaiman vibe and sounds like it would be fun on screen. (Though clearing certain aspects of it, like that title based on a Nirvana song, could probably cost enough to fund some small films.) His short story Abraham's Boys has also been adapted into a short film of the same name, by Dorothy Street, and is making some festival rounds now.