The creative masterminds behind the hit Netflix original, Stranger Things, are two of the most sought-after people in the entertainment industry right now. Stranger Things has been an enormous success, garnering a loyal fan base for the past four seasons. With only one season left of the show, the Duffer Brothers are talking more openly about their future projects. In one of the final scenes of Stranger Things season 4, the two left a little Easter egg for their fans to get excited about. Lucas is seen reading The Talisman to Max, reminding Stephen King fans that we have something to look forward to.
The Talisman was another fairly large novel written by Stephen King and Peter Straub. Published in 1984, the fantasy horror novel did manage to have several fans. Like so many of his other works, the story resonated with kids because it features young protagonists. Jack Sawyer is a 12-year-old boy who has the unique ability to “flip” to a parallel world called The Territories. He decides to use this ability to hunt down a fabled crystal called the talisman, hoping that it will cure his mother’s cancer. Flipping between parallel worlds, the 656-page novel is full of magic, monsters, and action. So why haven’t we seen an adaptation of it yet?
Well, Stephen Spielberg bought the exclusive adaptation rights before The Talisman was even published! He was really excited about it apparently. However, he hasn’t found the right opportunity to do the story justice. With trees that will hunt you down, a werewolf bestie, and the journey between worlds, he worried that a film just would not be able to handle the full scope of it. He may be right on that one. The Dark Tower movie was disappointing compared to the 8-book series written by Stephen King.
Enter the Duffer Brothers. They did an amazing job on Stranger Things, and one could argue that the two stories have a lot of parallel elements in common. In an interview with Deadline, the brothers gushed about how excited they are for the opportunity. You can read an excerpt from the interview below:
MATT DUFFER: Well, if you can believe it, we’re really into Stephen King, and this was the ultimate. Our friend Curtis Gwinn, one of the main writers on Stranger Things actually asked if we’d be interested in getting involved. There was a show that he was talking with Amblin about. We were immediately excited. We loved The Talisman. It may be the last great 80s Stephen King book that has not been previously adapted, and that’s only because Amblin and Spielberg have held onto it for as long as they have.
They own the rights, and they haven’t allowed any version to get made up to hopefully now. It’s a huge book, it’s really long and I don’t think it would ever have really worked effectively as a movie. Until recently, I don’t think it would have worked as television. It’s like we’re in this new era now where there’s a kind of a merging of television shows that feel and look like movies because they’re getting these pretty big budgets behind them.
So, something like Talisman that even five years ago was not doable, is very doable now. It involves a lot of things that are very similar to Stranger Things. It’s about a kid who’s trying to save his dying mother and he travels into another dimension in order to do so. I mean, it’s much more fantasy. It has sci-fi. It has horror elements. It has a lot of heart. It has everything that we love. And it’s got the best werewolf character I think, ever.
MATT DUFFER: The original pitch for Stranger Things was, what if Stephen Spielberg is filming a long lost Stephen King book you’ve never read? So, how could we turn down a chance where there actually are those two guys working together?
ROSS DUFFER: It’s definitely a dream project. In terms of when it’s going to get made. I don’t know. We just had a meeting about it, but it’s just an outline for the first episode. It’s a ways off but we’re really excited about it.Deadline
Hopefully, the project will go through as planned, though that will be a while from now. The bright side is that there is plenty of time to read the novel before the show!