Steven Spielberg has never collaborated with Stephen King. They’ve come close, but it’s never actually happened. However, Spielberg has held the rights to The Talisman for more than three decades and he’s totally committed to getting it made for the big screen in the near future. Perhaps not as a director, since his plate is rather full right now, but Spielberg has the desire to see this happen. Fortunately for him, the timing is probably perfect.
Stephen King says, “Several times he came very close to making it, and there were a lot of discussions about that.” It, unfortunately, never came to pass. In 2006, it was nearly adapted as a six-part series for TNT, but those plans were eventually scrapped. Now, as Steven Spielberg has been making the press rounds for his latest movie, Ready Player One, he sounds truly ready to finally make The Talisman into a movie. Here’s what he had to say about it.
“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. I’ve owned the book since ’82, and I’m hoping to get this movie made in the next couple of years. 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.”
Universal actually seems to be just as determined as Steven Spielberg is to get this done. We reported in October of last year, shortly after IT began dominating at the box office, that Josh Boone, director of The Fault in Our Stars and the upcoming X-Men spin-off New Mutants (which is currently undergoing major reshoots), had been tapped by the studio to write the movie adaptation of The Talisman and possibly direct. Boone is an outspoken megafan of Stephen King and was working on a feature adaptation of The Stand for some time, which may now become a limited series for CBS All Access.
This would make a great deal of sense. Steven Spielberg is too busy working on his next couple of directorial efforts, which includes Indiana Jones 5, confirmed to shoot in 2019 for 2020 release, and another, undetermined project, which could be either his West Side Story remake or the biopic The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which would team him up again for a fourth time with Mark Rylance. One of those two movies could film this year, if it all comes together. Point being, he doesn’t have time to direct something like this, as tantalizing as the idea may be. So, having him produce instead and bring on a different director, something he’s done frequently in the past, could be just what The Talisman needs in order to get it made.
The Talisman is one of few remaining, major Stephen King works that hasn’t yet been adapted. The novel tells the story of a twelve-year-old who embarks on a walk from the seacoast of New Hampshire to the California coast, to find the talisman that will save his dying mother’s life. It’s a supernatural and epic story that suits Spielberg’s sensibilities. King and Spielberg nearly worked together on Poltergeist, but a communication breakdown got in the way of that happening. Maybe, just maybe, The Talisman will make this collaboration happen. This news comes to us courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.