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Stephen King's The Boogeyman Movie: 7 Quick Things We Know About The Upcoming Adaptation

Stephen King in Mr. Mercedes
(Image credit: Audience)

Ever since the blockbuster release of Andy Muschietti’s IT in 2017, it feels like it’s rare for more than a few weeks to go by without hearing about a new Stephen King project in the works. The author’s novels and stories have spiked in popularity, and film studios, TV networks, and streaming services have all been getting in on the action. We’ve heard about a number of projects being developed, including adaptations of King’s most recent books, but one of the productions now making the most significant steps forward is a live-action feature based on the short story “The Boogeyman.”

So what is The Boogeyman about? Who is making it? Who is starring in it? When will it be coming out? And how? If all of those questions are presently swimming around your head, this quick things guide is very much for you, as it’s entirely built around the attempt at answering all those queries. Let’s start by taking a trip back to the 1970s and do a quick recap of the Stephen King source material’s origins…

Stephen King in Sleepwalkers

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

The Boogeyman Is Based On The Short Story Of The Same Name From Night Shift

“The Boogeyman” was first published in the adult magazine Cavalier in 1973, but it is best known for being a part of Night Shift, Stephen King’s first collection of short stories published in 1978. The story centers on a fragile man named Lester Billings who believes that his three young children have been murdered by a supernatural entity he calls The Boogeyman. He recounts how his offspring died to a psychiatrist named Dr. Harper, with specific focus on the protagonist’s failed efforts to preserve the life of his third baby, and the tale comes to an end with a deadly twist that confirms Lester’s worst fears.

Stephen King in Pet Sematary

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

This Will Be The First Time The Boogeyman Has Been Adapted As A Feature

An adaptation of “The Boogeyman” was actually made as the first ever short film based on a Stephen King story, premiering back in 1982, but the upcoming movie will be the first time that it is developed as a feature-length project. It will mark the eighth time an entry from Night Shift has been adapted in such a fashion, the previous titles being Graveyard Shift, The Mangler, Maximum Overdrive, Trucks, Sometimes They Come Back, and the two versions of The Children Of The Corn (not counting the many sequels).

Stephen King in Maximum Overdrive

(Image credit: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group)

Mark Heyman Is Developing The Screenplay

The Boogeyman first started making strides through development back in 2018 when A Quiet Place screenwriters Scott Beck and Bryan Woods became attached to write the script – and their work on the project was followed by drafts from Malignant’s Akela Cooper. The most recent writer to refine the screenplay, however, has been Mark Heyman – best known for penning Black Swan and The Skeleton Twins. Heyman’s adaptation will have to make some significant changes to the source material to expand it to feature length, but it’s unclear right now what those changes will be.

Stephen King in IT Chapter Two

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Rob Savage Is Attached To Direct

In summer 2020, filmmakers everywhere were scrambling to figure out what the pandemic would mean for the industry… and meanwhile Rob Savage went about making a movie – specifically the Shudder exclusive Host. The screenlife feature earned tremendous praise for turning a Zoom séance into a horrific cinematic nightmare, and now he’s getting an opportunity to join the legacy of directors who have brought Stephen King’s fiction to life with The Boogeyman. His involvement was first announced in November 2021.

Sophie Thatcher in Yellowjackets and Chris Messina in I Care A Lot

(Image credit: Showtime / Netflix)

Sophie Thatcher And Chris Messina Are Attached To Star

As of January 2022, per Deadline, The Boogeyman has begun putting together its cast, and while we can’t say much about the respective roles the actors will play, their involvement with the production is by itself exciting. Chris Messina has proven himself as one of the industry’s stalwart character actors, and Sophie Thatcher has been garnering a lot of attention thanks to her roles in Yellowjackets and The Book Of Boba Fett. Whatever the material offers them, we feel confident they’ll be able to deliver exactly what’s required.

Stephen King in Sons of Anarchy

(Image credit: FX)

The Movie Will Be A Hulu Original

When it comes to Stephen King adaptations, Hulu to date has been all about series – either mini or on-going. The time-travel adventure 11.22.63 was the service’s first (the eight episode show unfolding week-to-week in early 2016), and it was followed by two seasons of Castle Rock (which aired 20 episodes between two seasons from 2018 to 2019). As a major streamer, however, Hulu doesn’t discriminate when it comes to medium, and The Boogeyman will be made as their first original feature film based on a story by King. Hopefully the movie will earn acclaim equal to that of its serialized predecessors.

Stephen King in Under The Dome

(Image credit: CBS)

Production On The Boogeyman Is Expected To Start In Early 2022

At present, Gary Dauberman’s remake of Salem’s Lot is the only Stephen King adaptation officially on the 2022 Movie Release Calendar, but that is likely to change. Not only is it expected that we will see Keith Thomas’ Firestarter and John Lee Hancock’s Mr. Harrigan’s Phone before the end of December, but it’s possible we could see the online premiere of The Boogeyman as well. This is because principal photography on the movie is expected to start at some point in February or March, based on Deadline's report (linked above), and it’s hard to imagine it will have an exceptionally long production schedule. Could it wind up hitting Hulu in the last three months of the year? We’ll have to wait and see.

Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest updates on The Boogeyman as it continues to make its way through the stages of production. In the meantime, you can check out our wide variety of Stephen King coverage. You can learn about the long history of King movies and television shows with our weekly Adapting Stephen King column, and scope out our rankings of the best Stephen King films of all time. As for all of the other projects that are currently in the works in addition to The Boogeyman, you can keep track of them in our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide.

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.