Steven Spielberg, the Duffer Brothers to Adapt Stephen King’s The Talisman

‘Stranger Things’ writer and EP Curtis Gwinn will serve as showrunner.


If you’ve ever seen roughly 10 seconds of Netflix’s Stranger Things, you know that series creators Matt and Ross Duffer enjoy the works of both Stephen King and Steven Spielberg. Today, in news that feels inevitable, THR reports that the Duffers are teaming up with Spielberg to executive produce a TV adaptation of King’s novel, The Talisman, which the horror master co-wrote and published with Peter Straub in 1984. Curtis Gwinn, a writer and executive producer on Stranger Things, will also write and serve as showrunner on The Talisman.

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This project is a long time coming, especially for Spielberg, who snagged the rights to The Talisman in 1982, two years before it was published. There’s plenty of reasons a film never quite worked out in the 35 years since—The Handmaid’s Tale director Mike Barker was most recently attached to a feature adaptation in 2019—but the source material is a sprawling epic that alternates between our world and its fantastic alternate universe, The Territories. Here’s the book’s official synopsis:

Why had twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer’s mother frantically moved the two of them from Rodeo Drive to a New York City apartment to the Alhambra, a fading ocean resort and shuttered amusement park in New Hampshire? Who or what is she running from? She is dying . . . and even young Jack knows she can’t outrun death. But only he can save her—for he has been chosen to search for a prize across an epic landscape of dangers and lies, a realm of innocents and monsters, where everything Jack loves is on the line.

The Talisman is set up as a co-production between Amblin TV and the Duffers’ Monkey Massacre Productions. King himself is also an executive producer, as is Paramount Television.

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