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Development: The real story behind Twin Peaks; the return of Tales of the Unexpected and more

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Nov 20, 2018

Did you know Twin Peaks was inspired by a true story? Well it was, and that tale is coming to the screen. More on that and other news in today's development roundup.

The Wrap reports that a TV production company called Part2 Pictures has picked up the rights to Blonde, Beautiful and Dead: The Murder Mystery That Inspired Twin Peaks. The upcoming book is about a woman named Hazel Drew, whose 1908 murder in the town of Sand Lake, New York provided the inspiration for the incident that launched the first season of Twin Peaks in 1990: the death of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee).

It turns out that Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost's grandmother, Betty Calhoun, lived in Sand Lake and used to tell her grandson stories about Drew, whose body was found in a local pond and who, like the fictional Laura Palmer, led a sort of double life that involved numerous affairs.

Frost, who wrote the foreword for the book, says that the stories he heard from his grandmother stayed with him and eventually provided the basis for the Laura Palmer mystery in Twin Peaks.

Part2 will develop a documentary series based on the book in conjunction with its publisher, Metabook, which they will then shop to premium cable networks and streaming platforms.


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Roald Dahl, the beloved British author known for classic children's books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The WitchesMatilda and The Fantastic Mr. Fox (all of which have been made into movies), also wrote short stories that were decidedly aimed at adults, extremely dark and often horrific — although with rare exceptions, they had no supernatural or sci-fi elements to them.

Many of his stories provided the basis for a British TV anthology series called Tales of the Unexpected, which ran between 1979 and 1988. Dahl would provide introductions for the episodes based on his stories, and the show featured appearances from well-known actors such as Jose Ferrer, Joseph Cotten, Janet Leigh, John Gielgud, John Mills, Joan Collins, Ian Holm, Michael Gambon and many others.

Now a company called The Ink Factory is planning to reboot the show and has recruited a number of writers to work on it. According to Deadline, Ink Factory is collaborating with the Roald Dahl Story Company (which manages his works) on the project, although it's not clear whether the show will once again adapt the same Dahl stories or explore other author's works as well.

A broadcast or streaming partner for the show has yet to be announced.


In further adaptation news, two recent and highly acclaimed horror novels are being developed as feature films. The first is Snowblind by esteemed writer Christopher Golden, whose other titles include Ararat, Dead Ringers and the comic books Baltimore and Joe Golem: Occult Detective.

Snowblind is about a small town that's weathering a blizzard unlike any its inhabitants have ever seen before. Stephen King called the book "instantly involving and deeply scary." Variety says that Zoic Studios, known previously for visual effects work on projects like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Avengers: Age of Ultron, is behind the film. Golden is aboard as a producer and Amber Alexander is attached to pen the script.

The second adaptation is My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix, also author of Horrorstor and the excellent non-fiction book, Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction. The novel, described by the Hollywood Reporter as "Beaches meets Heathers meets The Exorcist," is about two teen girls who are best friends, with one of them convinced that the other is possessed by a demon.

Endeavor Content has picked up the rights to the project and Christopher Landon, director of Happy Death Day, is producing and may possibly direct the picture.


Fruits Basket

Credit: Funimation

Finally, a 2001 cult anime series called Fruits Basket is being revived for 2019. According to IGN, the new Funimation show will follow the same storyline as the original 26-episode series, which was based on a manga by author Natsuki Takaya. The series follows a high school student named Tohru Honda, who works for two of her classmates as a housekeeper after she is left alone by her mother's death, but finds out that their family has been living under a curse for centuries. The show will premiere on TV Tokyo and will stream in North America on FunimationNow sometime next year.

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