A longtime Stephen Spielberg pet project is finally coming to screen thanks to a lot of people who made Stranger Things. That project is a TV adaptation of “The Talisman,” a horror book from Stephen King and Peter Straub that Spielberg apparently loved so much he secured the screen rights to the project two years before it was actually published.
According to reports, however, that nearly four-decade project is finally happening. The Hollywood Reporter shared on Friday that Curtis Gwinn, who was an executive producer and writer on Stranger Things, will serve as showrunner and write a TV adaptation of “The Talisman” as a Netflix project.
The Duffer Brothers, whose own Stranger Things owes more than a few debts to King’s work, will executive produce a series adapting the book, that will be produced by Netflix in association with Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Paramount Television Studios.
As the report outlines, there are some parallels to Stranger Things in some ways, starting with the protagonist being a young boy who stumbles into some very… strange things.
Talisman tells of a 12-year old boy named Jack Sawyer who sets off on an epic road-trip quest in order to save his dying mother’s life. He is in search of the Talisman, a powerful relic that can not only heal his mother but, as he learns, save the world. Sawyer’s journey criss-crosses two realities: the America we know and its dangerous, fantasy-world twin, The Territories.
The book was an instant best-seller when it hit stories in 1984 and King and Straub reunited for a sequel in 2001. On the adaptation front, the most recent developments occurred in 2019 when Mike Barker, who directed several episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, was involved in what was then being envisioned as a feature.
With two books to mine for content it seems the group has a lot to work with here. And after decades of waiting, there’s been plenty of time for Spielberg and Co. to figure out what they want to do with it all.