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News of a Stephen King adaptation generally draws extreme reactions - either disgust or clueless joy. I’ll cop to being part of that latter group, though my enthusiasm is always kept in check by the sheer number of of projects he regularly has in development. As fans lay in wait for further development of 11/22/63, The Stand and The Dark Tower, at least one long-gestating project is starting up again.
Screen Daily reports Tod Williams has been tapped by Cargo Entertainment to adapt King’s novel Cell. Williams' most notable credit is his lukewarm sequel Paranormal Activity 2, though his earlier take on a John Irving novel for the film The Door in the Floor was much more concise and enjoyable.
Production on Cell will begin in May with Williams working from a screenplay written by King himself along with Last House on the Left remake screenwriter Adam Alleca. King has stated that the screenplay fixes up the novel’s notorious ending, which was panned almost universally by fans and non-fans alike. My hope is that they kept the book’s hectic and gore-soaked madness of the opening, as it’s by far Cell’s most cinematically realized section.
The only cast member currently signed on for Williams to direct is John Cusack, who was added to the film last year. Cusack worked with Cell producer Richard Saperstein on Mikael Håfström’s 1408, King’s haunted hotel room short story, and Saperstein also worked on Frank Darabont’s adaptation of King’s The Mist.
Cell’s plot follows a man’s journey to find his son in a world ravaged by a pulse signal transmitted by cell phones that causes those who hear it to turn viciously inhuman and murderous. Beyond the slam-bang opening, there are quite a few sequences that could make for the best theatrical horror moments of the year... but then again, this is a Stephen King adaptation, so who knows how it will wind up.