Joe Hill and IDW going for second try on Locke & Key TV show

Contributed by
May 9, 2016

Author Joe Hill and indie comics giant IDW Publishing want you to see Locke & Key on TV -- so they're doing it themselves.

IDW announced today that it is developing Hill's award-winning book as a TV series, with Hill himself writing the pilot and serving as executive producer. 

The 37-issue run by Hill (who won an Eisner in 2011 as Best Writer) and artist Gabe Rodriguez was published between February 2008 and December 2013. It followed the history of the Keyhouse, a mansion that holds a portal to another dimension inhabited by demons, and the Locke family, who craft and possess the magical keys that can imprison or unlock the horrors within the house. 

There have been two previous attempts to adapt Locke & Key, first as a feature film by Dimension Films, and then as a TV series by Dreamworks, with the heavyweight trio of Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Steven Spielberg on board as executive producers.

That version got as far as shooting an actual pilot in 2011 for Fox -- which was screened to great acclaim at 2011's Comic-Con -- but the network ultimately decided to pass on the series.

My guess is that the property has finally reverted back to IDW, and the company is taking the lead on reviving the project itself and will sell the distribution and broadcast rights to the highest bidder. According to a press release, IDW is "developing Locke & Key as a straight to series and will maintain worldwide rights to the project." 

Hill, whose epic new novel The Fireman comes out next week, said:

"I love this story. The seven years I spent working on Locke & Key was the happiest creative experience of my life and there still isn't a day when I don't think about those characters and miss visiting with them. The six books of the series are very like six seasons of a cable TV series and so it feels only natural to bring that world to the little screen and to see if we can't scare the pants off viewers everywhere."

It's good to see IDW and Hill taking control of the property themselves, and we can only hope that they create a product on their own dime that an enterprising cable channel is ready to pick up. Are you happy to see Locke & Key get a new lease on life?

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