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Stephen King’s post Dark Tower stories haven’t all been great, but the master of suspense and horror proved his writing chops with a modern take on zombies in Cell. Long ago Eli Roth announced he was working on a silver screen adaptation that would include global blood and gore. Horror fans rejoiced, but those of us who actually read the book cringed a bit. While Cell doesn’t exist in that fantasy realm of the Dark Tower as so many of King’s previous works, it did handle terror in a decidedly interesting way reminiscent of Shawshank Redemption or The Mist.
Details are now coming out of Fantasia Film Festival that the film has been shelved and instead the Weinstein’s are shopping the story out as a four hour TV mini-series. To be written by John Harrison the new take is to be much closer to what Cell was about: a classic tale of creepiness and terror rather than horror fodder. I for one am very excited by this prospect.
Cell is about a core group of survivors after a pulse cent out via cell phones turns people into what are essentially zombies. True, they’re not really zombies but instead reprogrammed humans. The story is very intimate in these people’s tale, and an epic worldwide battle with zombies loses much of the charm and terror of King’s novel.
The issue is if this is picked up by a major network will they have the balls to allow the mini-series to be as biting as it needs to be. I think that’s possible. Even the CW has its moments with episodes of Supernatural that are downright creepy. But truth be told this is a story fit for FX to really get into an annual movie or mini-series. It’s likely too much to hope that HBO or Showtime would jump at the chance to showcase such a fantastic modern horror story.