Mr. Harrigan's Phone: Release Date, Cast, And More For The Netflix Stephen King Adaptation

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From the 1976 adaptation of "Carrie" to 2017's "It," Stephen King's books have always shown great potential for a successful movie. Netflix has seemed aware of this fact ever since they started making original content; they released a film adaptation of King's claustrophobic novel "Gerald's Game" in 2017, and it was just as disturbing as the trailers promised. 

At the same time, it's also become clear over the years that novellas and short stories, perhaps more so than full-length novels, make for great films. "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Mist" were both novellas, and they ended up making for the most critically acclaimed King movies ever made. King's shorter works often give directors far more room to breathe. With that in mind, this upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's 88-page novella "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" seems incredibly promising.

Mr. Harrigan's Phone release date, rating, and where to watch it

Filming for the movie finished in December 2021, and as of earlier this month we know the project was already very close to finished. It's currently expected to drop on Netflix on October 5, right in time for the Halloween season. No trailer has been released yet, but we can expect one any day now. One of the few people who've already seen the movie is Stephen King himself, who tweeted recently, "I have seen a close-to-finished cut of MR. HARRIGAN'S PHONE, written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and it's nothing short of brilliant." Considering King's never been too shy to critique a bad adaptation of his work, this is a good sign. 

"Mr. Harrigan's Phone" is rated PG-13 for "thematical material, some strong language, violent content, and brief drug material," making it one of those few King adaptations to escape an R-rating.

Mr. Harrigan's Phone cast and crew

The movie is written and directed by John Lee Hancock, who's best known for his past movies like "The Blind Side" and last year's unsettling crime drama, "The Little Things." 

"Mr. Harrigan's Phone" stars Jaeden Martell, who you may remember from 2017's "It," "Defending Jacob," and his brief but memorable stint as a live-action Morty Smith, as Craig. Mr. Harrigan will be played by Donald Sutherland. The role of Craig's kind-hearted schoolteacher Ms. Hart will be played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste. We know from "The Good Place" and "The Sandman" that Baptiste is great as playing warm, sympathetic characters, which makes her a perfect fit for this sort of role.

Other actors in the main cast include Joe Tippett as Craig's father, Cyrus Arnold as Craig's bully Kenny Yankovich, and Peggy J. Scott as Mr. Harrigan's housekeeper Edna Grogan.

What's is Mr. Harrigan's Phone about?

The story of "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" follows a boy named Craig who develops a friendship with a rich elderly neighbor he calls Mr. Harrigan. When the neighbor dies, a distraught Craig sneaks the man's phone (which Craig gave him earlier as a gift) into his jacket pocket at the funeral, and the phone is buried with him. Years later, Craig calls Harrigan's phone and finds that not only has the phone's battery somehow stayed alive, but that the things Craig says in the voicemails he leaves have a dark effect on the real world. Here's the official synopsis:

When Craig, a young boy living in a small town (Jaeden Martell) befriends Mr. Harrigan, an older, reclusive billionaire (Donald Sutherland), the two begin to form an unlikely bond over their love of books and reading. But when Mr. Harrigan sadly passes away, Craig discovers that not everything is dead and gone and strangely finds himself able to communicate with his friend from the grave through the iPhone in this supernatural coming-of-age story that shows that certain connections are never lost.

It seems a little similar to "The Black Phone," a kid-centric horror movie based off King's son Joe Hill's short story of the same name. Or perhaps a better comparison would be the first "It" movie in 2017, or the 1986 film "Stand by Me." Stephen King is at his best when writing a coming of age story centered around a dark premise, and that's exactly what "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" promises to be.