IT Star Jaeden Martell Joins Another Stephen King Adaptation, Mr. Harrigan's Phone

Jaeden Martell is quickly carving out a place for himself as one of the new faces of modern horror. First, he won over horror fans everywhere with his portrayal of the childhood leader of The Loser's Club, ​​Bill Denbrough, in the 2017 version of "IT" and its sequel "IT: Chapter Two." Now, Martell is joining the legendary Donald Sutherland ("The Dirty Dozen," "Kelly's Heroes," "The Hunger Games") for yet another Stephen King adaptation, "Mr. Harrigan's Phone."

The adaptation of King's short story is being produced by Ryan Murphy and Blumhouse founder, Jason Blum. The film's casting announcement was revealed as part of the second annual Blumfest, which highlights the numerous horror contributions from the Blumhouse brand. The film is being written and directed by John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side," "Saving Mr. Banks") and is backed by Netflix.

What is Mr. Harrigan's Phone About?

"Mr. Harrigan's Phone" is a short story from Stephen King's recent short story anthology collection, "If It Bleeds" from 2020. The story follows a teenager named Craig who begins doing odd-jobs for an eccentric old billionaire named Mr. Harrigan who recently moved into Craig's small town. After winning a scratch-off lottery ticket he received from Mr. Harrigan, Craig is able to buy the hottest new item on the market, the iPhone (the story is set in 2007). Mr. Harrigan becomes captivated by the phone's technology and convinces Craig to buy one for him. After he passes away, Craig discovers that he is able to continue communication with Mr. Harrigan from beyond the grave due to, you guessed it, the iPhone.

But Craig soon realizes that text messages aren't the only ways the duo can communicate and that with the power of the iPhone, Harrigan's ghost is able to interact with the mortal world, namely, people who have wronged his new best friend Craig. It's a modern take on a story that has been told before (I'm looking at you, "Night Call" episode of "The Twilight Zone"), but with dynamite performers like Martell and Sutherland, it seems like a horror slam dunk.

Two Horror Heavy Hitters

"IT" and "IT: Chapter Two" aren't Martell's only forays into horror. In 2019, he terrorized audiences as the manipulative Aidan in the psychological thriller "The Lodge," and as the titular more-than-likely teen murderer in the Apple TV+ true crime procedural, "Defending Jacob." Before diving into the horror world, he also starred in the science-fiction film "Midnight Special" and recently played an insufferable alt-right teen in "Knives Out."

A veteran to the industry, Donald Sutherland is no stranger to horror either despite his award-winning career across genres. Sutherland's first named role was in "Castle of the Living Dead," and would go on to star in horror films like "The Shuttered Room," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Don't Look Now," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and the miniseries "Salem's Lot" and "Frankenstein." At only 18-years-old, Martell is proving he's one of the major players in the new crop of genre actors and working alongside someone as prolific as Sutherland feels like a proverbial passing of the torch.

"Mr. Harrigan's Phone" is scheduled to debut on Netflix in 2022.