Stephen King's Cell to be TV miniseries?

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

You may or may not remember that torture-porn filmmaker Eli Roth was once going to shoot an adaptation of horrormeister Stephen King's The Cell. Well, now comes news that not only is Roth not going to make such a movie, it's also not going to be a movie at all.

Fangoria reports that John Harrison (Syfy's Dune) is writing a four-hour TV miniseries based on the 2006 novel, in which the population of America is transformed into mindless, rampaging killers by a signal sent through their cell phones.

Here's what the magazine reported:

Harrison is scripting Cell for the Weinstein Co., which had originally planned to turn the book into a theatrical feature (with Eli Roth attached at one point to direct), but decided to abandon those plans and will be shopping the project to networks instead. Having served as assistant director/composer on the King-scripted Creepshow and helmed Tales From the Darkside: The Movie (including an adaptation of the author's "Cat From Hell"), Harrison considers Cell one of King's best recent books, with opening chapters that will make an incredible first 30 minutes on screen. The filmmaker adds that he doesn't see this as a zombie story so much as a Village of the Damned-esque chiller and enjoys the fact that the infected populace possesses a hive mentality.

The magazine adds that Harrison would like to direct the miniseries as well.

In 2007, Roth (the Hostel films) told SCI FI Wire that he considers the story timely and relevant. "I love the idea that technology turns on us," Roth said in an interview while promoting his second Hostel movie. "I have always wanted to make an apocalypse movie, and I like that this isn't a straight zombie movie, that these are humans who are crazy, whose brains have been scrambled by cell phones. I read that a quarter of the U.S. bee population has died off, and they don't know what's killing the bees. Is it a virus? There are people who think it could be cell phones, that they're screwing up the bees' radar, and they can't get back to their hives." (In fact, the study suggesting this has been discredited, the Los Angeles Times reported.)