The Tommyknockers movie

The Tommyknockers movie has found its writer. Jeremy Slater, who wrote Fantastic FourThe Lazarus Effect, and created The Exorcist TV show, will pen the script for the film based on the Stephen King sci-fi horror novel.

No one likes Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers. Not even Stephen King. The prolific horror master once went on the record and saidThe Tommyknockers is an awful book,” and he would know. King penned the novel right before he curbed his destructive cocaine addiction, and that comes through in the text. The book is about a centuries-old alien structure that gives anyone who comes in contact with it strange, inhuman, and destructive powers. In other words, characters who encounter the alien craft start acting like they’re on a coke binge.

But we’re in the midst of the Stephen Kingissance, where producers are eager to bring any and every King work to the screen. So The Conjuring director James Wan and It producer Roy Lee have teamed to make The Tommyknockers into a new film, and now they’ve found a writer to tackle the task. Variety says Jeremy Slater will attempt to make sense of King’s rambling coke-fueled madness, and I wish him all the best.

Slater’s resume includes the rather terrible Flatliners knock-off The Lazarus Effect, Josh Trank’s much-loathed Fantastic Four, the indie thriller Pet, and Adam Wingard’s Death Note. That line-up is…not very impressive. But Slater is also the creator of The Exorcist TV show, and penned several episodes of the series. Against all odds, The Exorcist show turned out surprisingly well, so Slater definitely shows promise. Perhaps The Tommyknockers will be the first film to truly let his screenwriting shine.

As lousy as King’s novel is, there is a good idea buried in the text. King himself agrees, saying: “I’ve thought about it a lot lately and said to myself, “There’s really a good book in here, underneath all the sort of spurious energy that cocaine provides, and I ought to go back.” The book is about 700 pages long, and I’m thinking, ‘There’s probably a good 350-page novel in there.’”

The Tommyknockers is just one of many King-related works currently in development, thanks primarily to the massive success of 2017’s It. In addition to It Chapter Two, there’s Pet SemataryDoctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining; The Long Walka 10-hour miniseries adaptation of The StandThe Bone Church; Amazon’s Dark Tower series;Netflix’s In The Tall GrassThe Gingerbread Girl; a remake ofFirestarter; Creepshow TV series; and From a Buick 8. There’s also the currently-airing Hulu series Castle Rock, which was recently given a second season.

This new Tommyknockers won’t be the first adaptation of the material. The story was turned into a 1993 miniseries, and, like the book itself, it wasn’t very good. This new adaptation can only be an improvement.

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