The Tommyknockers
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Credit: ABC

Development: The Tommyknockers lands writer; Vampyr lures director McG; The Alienist sequel ordered; Outlander debut set

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Dec 4, 2018, 5:18 PM EST (Updated)

One of the many Stephen King projects in the pipeline has taken a big step forward in today's development news.

According to The Wrap, Jeremy Slater has been hired to pen the feature film adaptation of King's 1987 novel The Tommyknockers for producer James Wan and Universal Pictures.

Slater is probably best known as the showrunner for the acclaimed series The Exorcist, which ran for two seasons on Fox until being canceled earlier this year. He's since developed Netflix's limited series adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's award-winning comic book The Umbrella Academy, which is currently filming.

Slater also has a number of other genre screenwriting credit to his name, including 2015's Fantastic Four, The Lazarus Effect, and Death Note.

Several studios, including Sony and Netflix, bid for the project, in which a small Maine town comes under the malevolent influence of a long-buried alien spacecraft in the woods. Wan, who is currently finishing up Aquaman for a December release, has not decided yet whether he intends to direct the adaptation.


Credit: Focus Home Interactive

Another well-known action director, McG (Terminator Salvation) is teaming with Fox 21 Television Studios to adapt the video game Vampyr as a series.

Not to be confused with Carl Dreyer's surreal 1932 horror film of the same name, Vampyr tells the story of a doctor in 1918 London who becomes a vampire under mysterious circumstances. The righteous medicine man must then choose between saving lives and ending them, a plight that takes on added urgency when a deadly disease begins to spread through the city.

McG intends to direct the project as well as serve as executive producer, says Deadline. The game itself, produced by French company Dontnod Entertainment and published via Focus Home Interactive, sold more than 450,000 copies in its first month after arriving on June 5 for all major platforms.

The Alienist Bruhl.jpg

If you loved TNT's limited series based on Caleb Carr's epic novel The Alienist when it aired earlier this year, you're in luck: Deadline reports that the network has officially ordered a new series based on Carr's follow-up book, The Angel of Darkness.

The show will once again feature Daniel Bruhl as Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, Luke Evans as newspaper reporter John Moore, and Dakota Fanning as Sara Howard, assistant to NYPD commissioner Theodore Roosevelt in The Alienist and now a private detective.

This time out, Sara asks Dr. Kreizler for help in locating the kidnapped infant daughter of a Spanish dignitary, a case that leads Sara, Kreizler, and Moore to confront a dangerous street gang and a mysterious woman with a dark past, all against the backdrop of rising tensions with Spain.

The Alienist was a huge success for TNT, reaching 50 million viewers across multiple platforms while becoming the top new series in the prized 18-49 demographic. It's also landed six Emmy nominations, including Best Limited Series.

Executive vice president of original programming for TNT Sarah Aubrey said, "Our audience fell in love with these multi-dimensional, timeless characters and the journey of their struggles living in complicated times. With this new story...we will further immerse viewers into their world as they are confronted with a new enemy.”

The start of production and air date for The Angel of Darkness both have yet to be announced.

Outlander Season 4- Claire and Jamie (Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan)

Courtesy of Starz

And finally, Starz has confirmed that Season 4 of Outlander will premiere on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 8pm ET/PT on the premium cable channel. A trailer for the new season of the show -- which has also been picked up for a fifth and sixth year -- debuted earlier this summer. 

The fourth season will continue the story of time-traveling 20th century doctor Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) and her 18th century Highlander husband Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), as they try to make a home for themselves in the dangerous backcountry of North Carolina during colonial times.

According to the official advance synopsis, the couple "must negotiate a tenuous loyalty to the current British ruling class, despite Claire’s knowledge of the American Revolution to come." The Frasers will also contend with Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers), a notorious pirate whose meeting with them has ramifications for the Fraser clan.

Meanwhile in the 20th century, the relationship between Claire and Jamie’s daughter Brianna Randall (Sophie Skelton) and Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) -- the historian who helped Claire search for Jamie in the past -- is getting more complicated. But "a shocking discovery" leads the pair to consider the possibility of "following in Claire's footsteps" -- does that mean traveling in time? We'll find out in November...