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SYFY WIRE Duffer Brothers

Steven Spielberg, Stranger Things' Duffer Bros. team for Netflix series based on Stephen King's The Talisman

By James Comtois
The Talisman front cover

At long last, the two Steves will finally join forces ... albeit indirectly. The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that Steven Spielberg will finally adapt The Talisman, the dark fantasy novel by Stephen King and Peter Straub, as a series for Netflix. 

Fittingly, The Duffer Brothers, creators of the very King- and Spielberg-influenced Stranger Things, have been tapped to executive produce the series which Netflix will produce with Paramount Television Studios and Spielberg’s Amblin Television. Curtis Gwinn, who was a writer and executive producer on Stranger Things, will serve as showrunner. King is also on board as an executive producer.

Considering “imagine if E.T. were written by Stephen King” may be the most concise way to describe Stranger Things, it makes perfect sense that the creators of that hit Netflix show will oversee the adaptation. 

Published in 1984, The Talisman tells the story of a boy who travels in and out of an alternate dimension in an effort to save his mother. He must face "twinners" – parallel individuals on flipsides of a universal split – living in a world populated by werewolves and gunslingers. (Yeah, that story idea should sound vaguely familiar to King fans.)

This project has been a long time coming. So long, in fact, that the journey began before the book was even published. Spielberg acquired the screen rights to the novel in 1982, two years before it was published. The iconic filmmaker then spent 35 years trying to develop it into a film. A little over a decade ago, he switched gears and turned to the small screen, trying to turn The Talisman into a TNT miniseries. But alas, that project never came to fruition. Still, Spielberg persisted, and now that live-adaptations of King books are almost as popular as Marvel films, the project is finally moving forward.

And while we all wait for The Talisman, which, let’s be clear, will take a while (the deals are still being negotiated and the project is in the very nascent stages), we’ve at least got Stranger Things 4 coming to Netflix later this year