MGM signs Alex Ross Perry to adapt & direct The Dark Half remake
Stephen King adaptations have been all the rage once again and now MGM is getting on board the train as they have signed Her Smell director Alex Ross Perry to adapt and direct a second adaptation of King’s 1989 novel The Dark Half, according to Deadline.
The story, first adapted on the big screen in 1993 by George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead), follows an author whose books under his pen name sell better than those under his actual name, but he chooses to retire the pseudonym and write more under his real name after it’s exposed. However, after he and his wife give the alter ego a ceremonial burial, those close to the family begin turning up dead as it’s revealed his pseudonym has come to life in a second body and the author must stop him before it’s too late.
King, who used to write novels under the ’70s and ’80s under the pseudonym Richard Bachman including The Long Walk, The Running Man and Thinner, was outed for his pen name and wrote the novel in response to the revelation. The novel became the second best-selling book of the year behind Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger.
Perry, who broke out last year with the music drama Her Smell starring Elisabeth Moss, is planning to reinvent the story for his film adaptation in comparison to the 1993 version starring Timothy Hutton (The Haunting of Hill House).
The Romero film, which also starred Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams) as Hutton’s wife and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy) as frequent King character Sheriff Alan Pangborn, was a box office disappointment after sitting on Orion Pictures’ shelf for two years, raking in just over $10 million on a $15 million budget. Critics and audiences have given the film a mixed reception over the years, praising Hutton’s dual performance, visual effects and screenplay while criticizing its lack of scares, explanations for its supernatural elements and pacing.
The 2010s have seen King adaptations soar back to life, with this year alone seeing four adaptations of his work including the remake of Pet Sematary, the highly-anticipated It: Chapter Two, Netflix’s In the Tall Grass and the well-received Shining film and novel sequel Doctor Sleep. The Dark Half joins a roster of upcoming adaptations that include Salem’s Lot, which is being penned by It‘s Gary Dauberman and produced by Dauberman and James Wan (Aquaman), The Long Walk from Andre Øvredal (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) and From a Buick 8 with Thomas Jane (1922) producing and potentially starring.
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