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Steven Spielberg hints he may adapt the Stephen King/Peter Straub dark fantasy novel, The Talisman

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Apr 5, 2018

Have you noticed that the two Steves (King and Spielberg) have never made a movie together? That’s kind of nuts when you think about it, especially since they have very similar sensibilities (Jaws, as well as the Spielberg-produced Poltergeist and Gremlins certainly feel like they could be based on stories by King) and have both been the principal architects of pop culture in the late-70s and all throughout the 1980s.

Well, Spielberg and King have told Entertainment Weekly that the director could very well make a film based on The Talisman, a dark fantasy novel about a boy traveling in and out of an alternate dimension to save his mother that King co-wrote with author Peter Straub. 

Published in 1984, The Talisman is actually quite similar to King's Dark Tower series. It features a boy that must face "twinners" – parallel individuals on flip-sides of a universal split – living in a world populated by werewolves and gunslingers.

“Several times [Spielberg] came very close to making it, and there were a lot of discussions about that,” King told the magazine. Well, according to Spielberg, it may still happen. 

“I feel that in the very near future, that’s going to be our richest collaboration. Universal bought the book for me, so it wasn’t optioned. It was an outright sale of the book,” Spielberg said. “I’ve owned the book since ’82, and I’m hoping to get this movie made in the next couple of years.” 

Added Spielberg: “I’m not committing to the project as a director, I’m just saying that it’s something that I’ve wanted to see come to theaters for the last 35 years.”

If it were indeed to be made, it wouldn’t be Spielberg’s first attempt. He tried to turn the nearly 1,000-page book into a six-hour miniseries for TNT about a decade ago, but to no avail. 

“At that time, it was just too rich for TNT’s blood,” said Spielberg. “Then I pulled it back and decided to try to reconfigure it once again as a feature film.”

In October, we reported that writer/director Josh Boone – the man behind the soon-to-be-released X-Men spinoff, New Mutants – was tapped to write an adaptive screenplay for The Talisman for Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. So, that certainly bodes well that work is underway. 

Anyway, what do you think? Is adapting The Talisman into a film a good idea? Do you expect to see a film version of this book in your lifetime? Should they take another look at TV? Let us know in the comments. 

(Via EW