Netflix’s love of Stephen King is about to continue with a new movie based on the short story Mr. Harrigan’s Phone from the horror master’s If It Bleeds collection. Following the successful adaptation of In the Tall Grass, based on the King story co-written by his son Joe Hill, and 1922, Mr. Harrington’s Phone will be adapted and directed by John Lee Hancock and stars Donald Sutherland in the eponymous role alongside Jaeden Martell. The film will be produced by Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy and production is set to get underway this month with the aim of a 2022 release.
King’s story falls into the familiar territory of a young boy (Jaeden Martell) befriending an older, reclusive man with a secret (Donald Sutherland), a plot point that the author has previously used to good effect in Hearts in Atlantis, Apt Pupil and others. In Mr. Harrigan’s Phone Craig is a young boy living in the usual small town setting, who forms a friendship based on a love of books with the rarely seen billionaire Mr. Harrigan. When Harrigan dies, he is buried with an iPhone, and Craig soon discovers that sometimes every dead thing isn’t always gone, and he is able to communicate with his old friend through the phone that went with him to the grave.
The project joins a list of in-development King movies and TV series that can almost rival that of Marvel, including remakes of Firestarter, The Dark Half and Salem’s Lot, and brand new adaptations such as The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, From a Buick 8, Overlook, The Institute and the long in development The Talisman. While a number of early King adaptations failed to hit the mark, the last decade has seen that change as well as a resurgence in the horror genre in general, thanks in part to the output of Blumhouse and their Paranormal Activity and The Purge franchises, along with the newest Halloween trilogy and the upcoming Firestarter remake.
The leads of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone are no stranger to the work of Stephen King either. Donald Sutherland played the role of Richard Straker in the 2004 mini-series based on Salem’s Lot, a role that is set to be taken on by Game of Thrones star Pilou Asbaek in the new big screen adaptation of the vampire story. Jaeden Martell had an impressive introduction to the world of King, playing the part of Bill Denbrough in the 2017 remake of IT when he was only 14, and the sequel IT: Chapter Two a couple of years later.
With the production seemingly ready to get underway, it is likely that we will see the movie arriving on Netflix sometime around the third quarter of 2022 at the earliest, but if you cannot wait to get a King fix then there are plenty of the master’s previous movies and series available across a variety of streaming platforms this Halloween, including both parts of IT, Apple TV’s The Stand and the 2019 remake of Pet Semetary to name a few. This news comes to us from Deadline.