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'The Regulators' becoming latest Stephen King novel to haunt the big screen

Get ready for another strange Stephen King journey.

Stephen King GETTY

Believe it or not, there are still some published Stephen King novels that haven't made it to the screen, despite dozens of adaptations of the author's work over the past six decades. Now, yet another one of these un-adapted King gems is set to get the screen treatment.

Deadline reports that management firm Bohemia Group (The Last DealA Dark Place) has optioned the right to King's 1996 novel The Regulators, with writer George Cowan on board with a script that King himself has reportedly approved. There's no word yet on casting or distribution for the project, but this is the first step in a major journey for one of King's few remaining unadapted novels.

“I’m delighted that the excitement of The Regulators is coming to the screen,” King said in a statement to Deadline. “This is going to be good.”

Published simultaneously with King's novel DesperationThe Regulators was one of the final novels released under King's "Richard Bachman" pen name, and served as Desperation's companion. The two novels feature interlocking cover art in their first-edition printings, and share several major characters under very different circumstances.

In both novels, the demonic force known as Tak represents the major antagonist for a group of human characters fighting to survive. In Desperation, Tak possesses the body of a local sheriff in a crumbling Nevada mining town. In The Regulators, Tak inhabits a young autistic boy living on a seemingly ordinary street in Ohio. When strange men with shotguns start showing up in brightly colored vans, and the street itself transforms into a dark Western landscape like something out of a TV show, the residents of the neighborhood must fight to survive as something very strange takes over their homes and their lives.

While Desperation and The Regulators share characters and villains, they exist more as mirrors of each other than direct, interconnected stories, and each can be read as a standalone story with its own resolution. Desperation was previously adapted into a 2006 TV movie by director Mick Garris (The StandSleepwalkers), with Ron Perlman starring as the Tak-possessed sheriff. 

There's no word yet on when we might actually get to see The Regulators onscreen, but the project joins an ever-growing list of upcoming Stephen King films and TV series, including new adaptations of previously adapted material, and never-before-filmed stories. Salem's LotBilly SummersLaterThe Boogeyman, and many more King projects are all set to hit the screen in the coming years.

Meanwhile, King himself just keeps writing. His latest novel, Fairy Tale, is due in bookstores next month.   

Looking for something horrific to watch? Peacock has lots of horror movies to keep you suitably scared including The Amityville Haunting, The Changeling, Firestarter, and several Saw movies. 

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