The Stephen King Renaissance that began in 2017 will resurge with a vengeance in 2019-and beyond. Fans of the bestselling author and Master of Horror can look forward to new seasons of Castle Rock and Mr. Mercedes, as well as feature film adaptations with IT: Chapter Two and Pet Sematary coming down the pike in 2018, followed by The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep and From a Buick 8 in 2020. Add to this ever-expanding list The Tommyknockers, currently brewing over at Universal (who beat out Netflix and Sony for the property in a fierce bidding war).

The Tommyknockers will be written by Jeremy Slater who amassed a sizable and rabid following after serving as creator and showrunner for The Exorcist TV series on Fox. As for feature films, Slater wrote screenplays for The Lazarus Project, Pet, Death Note, and 2015's Fantastic Four (although we'll forgive him that last entry). No word yet on who will be directing The Tommyknockers, but James Wan's Atomic Monster will produce the film, along with Michael Clear. It'll be a while before we get an official synopsis, but here's the gist of the novel, published in 1987:

On a beautiful June day, while walking deep in the woods on her property in Haven, Maine, Bobbi Anderson quite literally stumbles over her own destiny and that of the entire town. For the dull gray metal protrusion she discovers in the ground is part of a mysterious and massive metal object, one that may have been buried there for millennia. Bobbi can't help but become obsessed and try to dig it out...the consequences of which will affect and transmute every citizen of Haven, young and old. It means unleashing extraordinary powers beyond those of mere mortals-and certain death for any and all outsiders. An alien hell has now invaded this small New England town...an aggressive and violent malignancy devoid of any mercy or sanity.

Slater will have his work cut out for him. Not only is The Tommyknockers a sizable tome of over 600 pages, it's one of Stephen King's most problematic offerings. And this isn't just my opinion, as no one has been harsher on The Tommyknockers than King himself. Here's what he told Rolling Stone when they asked about how cocaine addiction affected his work and whether he considers The Tommyknockers a botched job:

"The Tommyknockers is an awful book. That was the last one I wrote before I cleaned up my act. And I've thought about it a lot lately and said to myself, 'There's really a good book in here, underneath all the sort of spurious energy that cocaine provides, and I ought to go back.' The book is about 700 pages long, and I'm thinking, 'There's probably a good 350-page novel in there.'"

Here's hoping Slater can separate the wheat form the chaff of King's meandering novel in order to deliver a truly spectacular script. Time will tell. We don't have a release date for The Tommyknockers yet, but we'll keep our ears to the ground in order to bring you additional details as they emerge. Stay tuned! Thanks to The Wrap for breaking the news.

Josh Millican at Movieweb
Josh Millican