Netflix locks in Locke & Key horror series, plans all-new script and cast

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Jul 26, 2018, 4:29 PM EDT (Updated)

In the wake of Hulu’s decision to pass on a series order for Locke & Key, the horror-fantasy series based on Joe Hill's award-winning dark fantasy IDW comic book, Netflix has reportedly swooped in to pick up the show — although with an entirely new plan for the deep-in-development project’s cast and story.

Deadline reports that Netflix has picked up a 10-episode order for Locke & Key, four months after Hulu passed on a series order of its own for what was, at the time, a pilot episode written for Hulu by Hill, adapted by Carlton Cuse (Lost), and helmed by IT director Andy Muschietti. 

In light of the time that’s passed since the Hulu pilot, Muschietti will no longer be directing the Netflix version of Locke & Key, according to the report. But he will be on board as an executive producer, as is Cuse, who is executive-producing the series through his company Genre Arts. Netflix plans to redevelop the script and re-cast the series. When Hulu opted not to pick up the show earlier this year, there already was a working writers' room, several additional finished scripts, and even set construction underway.

Set in Maine, Locke & Key tells the story of the Locke family. Shattered by the brutal murder of her husband and her own near miss in the assault, Nina Locke and her three children retreat to their ancestral family home, where the children discover a set of magical keys that impart special abilities — but also attract a demonic being who covets the keys and their powers.

Locke & Key has a pretty interesting and labyrinthine development backstory too. After a 2010 pilot was made for Fox, the network passed on a series order, even though the pilot itself — written by Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) — got a showing at the following year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci then made a short-lived attempt to woo a studio suitor to the project for a proposed trilogy series, before Cuse and Hill took over with the pilot script that eventually caught Hulu’s interest.

There’s no early word on a development timeline for Locke and Key at Netflix, but with the streaming giant hitting the reset button as it rethinks the show’s casting and story, it may be a while. Stay tuned for more information to unlock as work on the rescued Locke & Key series finally resumes.