This summer, Stephen King fans were delivered some really rough news. While writer/director Gary Dauberman’s Salem’s Lot (based on King’s book of the same name) had been scheduled to be released in time for this year’s Halloween season, the film was first pushed to April 2023 and then taken off the 2023 movie release schedule entirely. We’re still waiting to see what Warner Bros. decides to do with the movie – but for right now Constant Readers can get excited because Netflix has announced the release date for what now will be the next Stephen King adaptation: John Lee Hancock’s Mr. Harrigan’s Phone.
Netflix has announced official release dates for all of their movies set to come out between now and the end of December, and coming out between big titles like Blonde, Enola Holmes 2 and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. The film, starring IT’s Jaden Martell and Donald Sutherland, will be arriving on the subscription streaming service on October 5.
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is based on the novella of the same name, which is featured in the 2020 Stephen King omnibus If It Bleeds. The story centers on teenage boy named Craig (Jaeden Martell), who lives in a small town called Harlow, Maine. He gets a part time job helping his rich, elderly neighbor – the titular Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland) – and the two of them strike up a deep friendship. Harrigan celebrates their friendship by sending Craig a lottery ticket four times throughout the year, and when the protagonist wins a bunch of money from one of the scratchers, he uses some of it to buy his employer his first iPhone.
Harrigan is fascinated by the device, and his relationship with the machine becomes supernatural after he passes away. In his grief, Craig continues to text the old man after he is in his grave, and Harrigan ends up doing much more than just texting back.
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone features a stellar cast that also includes Joe Tippett as Craig’s father, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Ms. Hargensen, Craig’s teacher.
This will be the third time that a Stephen King adaptation has been produced as a Netflix exclusive. The streaming service previously produced Mike Flanagan’s brilliant Gerald’s Game (one of the best Stephen King movies of all time) in 2017, and in 2019 fans were treated to Vincenzo Natali’s In The Tall Grass, based on the short story of the same name by King and his son, Joe Hill.
Stephen King teased that he saw an early cut of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone back in early August, and he heaped praise on the film, calling it “nothing short of brilliant.” That certainly has our hopes raised given the high caliber of King adaptations we’ve seen over the years.
You can keep track of all of the adaptations that are presently in the works with our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide, and you can read about the long history of projects on both the big and small screens via my Adapting Stephen King column, which publishes here on CinemaBlend every Wednesday.
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