Stephen King’s short story Gramma was published in Weirdbook magazine back in 1984. And while countless King stories have made their way to the silver screen over the years (decades, really), Gramma has long been overlooked. Not any more. Peter Cornwell is stepping up to direct the horror thriller, using the title Mercy, and casting officially is underway.
THR says that Super 8 standout Joel Courtney and The Walking Dead co-star Chandler Riggs have been tapped to play young brothers who go with their mother to help with their grandmother. What they don’t know is that their “Gramma” is a witch who struck an evil deal via black magic a long time ago.
Cornwell helmed The Haunting in Connecticut back in 2009, and reportedly has hired Frances O’Connor (A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Jayne Mansfield’s Car) to play the kids’ mother. Now they need to hire a horrible grannie. Shouldn’t be too hard to find a hundred interested parties, right?
King, meanwhile, is having a bit of a renaissance. Years ago, Hollywood routinely looked to the author’s canon for ideas. Then, they stopped. But recently, John Cusack has revealed plans to adapt Cell, based on the novelist’s recent book; Justin Long is doing Ten O’Clock People, based on another short story; Chloe Moretz, of course, is starring in a Carrie remake; and Warner Bros. wants Ben Affleck to direct an update of The Stand.
Busy, busy times on the Stephen King front, though our most anticipated title, The Dark Tower, seems to have hit too many roadblocks. But if enough people start coming back to theaters for King adaptations maybe that massive project can get back on track soon enough.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.