When IT: Chapter One was released in 2017, it marked a high point in what has been a years-long renaissance of Stephen King adaptations. The film, based on the horror master’s 1986 novel, worked especially well thanks to the strong performances from its young ensemble. Now, Jaeden Martell, who played the Losers Club’s leader Bill Denbrough, is taking on another King adaptation -- a terrifying short story about the dangers of trying to communicate with the dead.
In 2020, Stephen King released a new book of short stories called If It Bleeds. One of its standout tales, “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” told the story of Craig, a young man who forms a unique relationship with an elderly man after he is hired to look after him. When Mr. Harrigan dies, he is buried with a cell phone that Craig bought for him after the man bought him a winning lottery ticket. Craig begins to leave voicemails for him--only to find that the people he complains about in them end up dying by suicide.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix will be adapting Mr. Harrigan’s Phone into a feature-length film, with Jaeden Martell starring as Craig. Playing Mr. Harrigan will be Donald Sutherland, who is no stranger to King’s canon, having co-starred in the 2004 TV miniseries adaptation of Salem’s Lot. The movie will be produced by Jason Blumhouse and Ryan Murphy and directed and written by John Lee Hancock.
With Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, both Martell and Sutherland will join a small cohort of actors who have appeared in more than one Stephen King production. But this won’t be Jaeden Martell’s first post-IT foray into the horror genre. The actor, who co-starred in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out and recently went viral for Adult Swim’s live-action Rick and Morty clip, also appeared in the psychological thriller The Lodge. He’s also been tapped to star in a remake of the ‘80s horror classic The Lost Boys, which starred Donald Sutherland’s son, Keifer.
It’s too early to tell exactly how well Mr. Harrigan’s Phone will translate to the screen -- not every Stephen King adaptation is a success, after all. However, some of the best King adaptations of all time, including The Mist, Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption, have originated from the writer’s short stories. The team at Netflix has also had a successful run adapting King’s stories, with Gerald’s Game, 1922 and In The Tall Grass all faring well on the platform.
While there is no word on when production will start, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is slated to premiere on Netflix in 2022. Be sure to keep an eye on CinemaBlend’s 2022 movie release guide for more information about when to expect the next Stephen King film.
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