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Joe Hill's horror novel 'The Fireman' - about a virus that causes spontaneous combustion - coming to TV

Stephen King's son is looking to tap into some of the old man's The Stand vibes.

By Josh Weiss
Joe Hill The Fireman Header GETTY AMAZON

"We didn't start the fire... No we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it." The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Walden Media (Finch, Rumble) intends to adapt Joe Hill's 2016 post-apocalyptic novel The Fireman for television. Hill is on board to executive producer alongside Frank Smith and Naia Cucukov of the production company.

“We’re so excited to be working with celebrated author Joe Hill on The Fireman. I can’t imagine a timelier book to be developing into a series,” Smith, who serves as Walden CEO, said in a statement to THR. “The Fireman showcases a theme that Walden holds very dear — the idea of celebrating ordinary people who rise in extraordinary circumstances.”

Reminiscent of The Stand (Stephen King just so happens to be Hill's father), the book takes place in a world where a strange affliction starts causing people to spontaneously burst into flames. There is no cure for the disease — colloquially known as "Dragonscale" — which prompts mass terror and the fall of society. The title refers to a mysterious figure dressed in a yellow fire fighter's jacket who roams the ruins of civilization, protecting the innocent and avenging those who have been wronged with the help of an iron bar.

Speaking with NPR in 2016 around the book's publication, Hill didn't shy away from comparisons to his famous father. "My book does carry a lot of echoes of The Stand, which is a novel that I adored, and you know, I sometimes joked that the book is The Stand if it was soaked in gasoline and set on fire," he said, later adding: "But the truth is, I love my dad. I'm an enormous Stephen King fan, we talk every day, and there's never going to be a writer who's influence is going to be on my work like his."

Like his dad, Hill has had no trouble selling his literary works for Hollywood adaptations. His 2013 novel NOS4A2 was turned into a television series that ran for two seasons on AMC; Locke & Key (Hill co-created the original IDW comic with Gabriel Rodriguez) has been renewed for a third season over at Netflix; and Blumhouse is primed to release The Black Phone (based on Hill's short story of the same name) this summer; and several more of the author's short stories became episodes of Shudder's Creepshow reboot. 

The man is — and we hope this isn't in poor taste — on fire.