Stephen King is one of the most successful and prolific authors ever, but he’s also becoming one of the hottest brands in Hollywood. Thanks to the success of both IT and now IT Chapter Two, studios are snatching up King’s works like crazy to adapt them for the big screen. Last year, we got word that 20th Century Fox did just that with Stephen King’s the Boogeyman, one of the author’s early short stories, which A Quiet Place writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods were to adapt. Now, we have word that the project is indeed moving forward, and some info as to how the duo intends to tackle the adaptation.
I recently had the chance to speak with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods in honor of their debut directorial feature, Haunt. During our chat, I asked about The Boogeyman, which was somewhat in doubt following the Disney/Fox merger. Beck revealed that this project is safe, for now at least, and that they fully intend to direct it when the time comes.
“We’re writing that to direct for 20th Century Fox, and it’s one of the few projects that we’ve been fortunate has made it through the merger with Disney so far. Fingers crossed. That could change at any day, but it’s still there for now. It’s a short story that we had always kept in our back pocket, and we thought it was horrifying. It was one of our favorites from the Night Shift collection and what we loved about it, kind of speaking to our love of original cinema is even though it builds upon a wonderful story by Stephen King, it is a short story, so there’s a huge sandbox that allows Bryan and I to kind of create a whole new story from the beginning of this 12-page short. So we’re excited to explore some similar territory to what A Quiet Place was. Meaning, it’s a horrifying story about the boogeyman, but also deals with the family grappling with very substantive issues throughout the course of the story.”
Disney axed the vast majority of Fox’s development slate recently after a string of flops that the studio inherited in the $71.3 billion deal. Even though horror isn’t Disney’s usual thing, like any other studio, they love money and The Boogeyman has all of the right ingredients to make a lot of it. Beck and Woods wrote A Quiet Place, which went on to become a massive hit for Paramount last year. Couple that with the attractiveness of anything Stephen King related right now and this becomes an attractive prospect.
The Boogeyman is a short story that was originally published in 1973 and was included in Stephen King’s beloved collection of shorts, Night Shift. The story centers on a man recounting the murders of his children in a psychiatrist’s office. The common thread? They were all crying “Boogeyman” just before they died. The story is short and simple, which leaves a lot of room to play with in adapting it for the big screen.
At present, there is no timeline for the movie. Scott Beck and Bryan Woods are currently working on the script and once that’s done, it will be up to the powers that be at Disney/Fox to proceed. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. In the meantime, Beck and Woods’ Haunt releases on September 13 from Nickel City Pictures.