Last Halloween was the first and last time we got any casting news on the upcoming feature adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell, as John Cusack signed on for the lead role. It’s been a year, but the wait was worth it, as Samuel L. Jackson will fill another starring role for the Benaroya Pictures and Genre Company production. When you've absolutely, positively got to kill every suddenly homicidal maniac in the world, accept no substitutes.
Cell, a 2006 bestseller, takes place in a world going through a few changes as much of the world’s population is turned into bloodthirsty pod people following the transmission of a brainwashing signal over any cell phone in use all over the globe. Deadline reports Jackson will play engineer and former soldier Tom McCourt, who teams up with Clay Riddell (Cusack) and an uncast teenage girl named Alice to try and survive in the suddenly ever-dangerous world as they search for Clay’s son. The film will probably share the dim tone of AMC’s The Walking Dead, but without all the boring exposition and thin characters. And if anything sounds better than watching Samuel L. motherfuckin’ Jackson going around killing quasi-zombies, it’s probably an impossibility.
Cell will be directed by Tod Williams of Paranormal Activity 2 fame, from a script he co-wrote with The Last House on the Left screenwriter Adam Alleca. Not exactly the most highbrow guys that Jackson has worked with, but hopefully they’ve given the at-times sloppy source material a good polishing. The novel features one of the more amazing opening sequences in genre history, and I can’t wait to see Cusack wide-eyeing his way through it all.
This won’t be the first time Jackson and Cusack co-star in a King adaptation, as they were both in Mikael Håfström’s underseen 2007 horror mystery 1408>, though Jackson’s role was limited to one major scene. I can’t wait to see them share the screen together for most of a feature.
It’s hard to think of an actor busier than Jackson these days. When he isn’t appearing as Nick Fury in all things Marvel, he can be seen in Spike Lee’s upcoming Oldboy remake and José Padilha’s RoboCop reboot. He’s currently filming Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of the comic miniseries The Secret Service and Kyle Newman’s assassin comedy Barely Lethal, and he’ll star as the President of the United States in Jalman Helander’s actioner Big Game. Why isn’t he the President in every movie?
Cell will be marketed at AFM this week, so there’s no telling when production is scheduled to begin. Until then, have you been to any haunted hotel rooms lately?