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Of all the material being adapted for the screen these days, Stephen King's novels are as hot as any other property. Now, following in the footsteps of It and The Dark Tower, another King project is moving forward toward a movie. Gerald's Game is one of the darker and more disturbing tales from a man who is known for being disturbing. However, apparently, Netflix is now on board to make the movie following writer/director Mike Flanagin's success on the platform with another film.
Netflix, because of how well Hush has done, said, 'We're really interested in this, and we'd like to do it the way you want to do it.' And that eliminated the pressure of having to test-screen the movie and define the demographic that's going to watch it---all of that stuff that typically comes into the conversation when you're trying to figure out how to market a film for a wide theatrical release.
The issue is an obvious one if you're familiar with Gerald's Game as a novel. Nearly the entire story takes place in a single room as a half-naked woman is handcuffed to a bed. As popular as Stephen King's name can be when attached to a film, a setup like that isn't necessarily the sort of thing that people rush to the theater to see. There are no psychotic clowns in this one. Nearly the entire film takes place in the terrified mind of a single helpless character. It's a disturbing story that will likely scare the hell out of you, but it isn't necessarily something that you enjoy watching.
According to Flannigan, there was some interest in the film when he first announced the project a couple of years ago, however, because of the difficulty that studios saw in making the film work, they were looking to make changes to it so the film fit a more traditional structure. However, the success of Hush, a film in which a deaf woman is stalked by a killer inside her own home, apparently helped to show those that would finance the film that the simple premise had potential.
Flannigan talks to Rue Morgue about the heartbreak that he feels when he sees a Stephen King adaptation done poorly, which shows that the Oculus director is committed to doing this one right. This is why he wasn't interested in making significant changes to Gerald's Game in order to make the film more commercially viable. With the production moving to Netflix, the business model is something very different.
What do you think about a film version of Gerald's Game? Just how difficult will it be to make this story successful on screen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.