The fifth try might finally do the trick for Joe Hill’s acclaimed comic series, Locke & Key. The Hollywood Reporter says that Netflix is close to a season order for a show, although the deal isn’t quite finalized yet. If it happens, it’ll be the end of a long road of failed adaptations for the story.
There have been numerous attempts to adapt the series over the years. The first came in 2008 when Dimension Films picked up the rights, only to lose them to 20th Century Fox Television in 2010. The studio filmed a pilot in 2011 (and screened it at San Diego Comic-Con), but ultimately passed on the series. In 2014, Universal picked up the series for a movie produced by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Bobby Cohen, but that project also fell through by 2015. Last year, Hulu ordered its own pilot for the series, with Hill writing the script, Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange) directing (he was later replaced by It director Andy Muschietti), and with Carlton Cuse (Lost and Bates Motel) acting as a showrunner. But earlier this year, Hulu passed on the project.
According to THR, Netflix will retool the show with a new director (Muschietti is currently working on It: Chapter 2) and new cast. Netflix will forgo a pilot order for the show and will greenlight an entire season. The project isn’t officially closed yet, but should it go through. It’ll add to Netflix’s growing roster of original genre content, which includes its enormous hit Stranger Things, as well as this year’s Altered Carbon and Lost in Space. It will also add a new comic property alongside Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Universe comics and its acquisition of Mark Millar’s publisher, Millarworld.
The comic series first hit stores in 2008, and is written by Hill (who is the son of horror author Stephen King, and has a well-established career of his own with novels such as NOS4A2, The Fireman, and most recently, Strange Weather) and illustrated by artist Gabriel Rodríguez. It follows the Locke family as they relocate from California to their ancestral home in Lovecraft, Maine, after the murder of the family’s patriarch. Children Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode begin to investigate their new surroundings and discover that the house is littered with a number of special keys, each of which grant their users special abilities, from turning into ghosts, animals, and more. As the series unfolds, they discover that there’s an ancient and otherworldly evil lurking under the house, and the kids and their friends must act to stop it before it takes over the world. The series ended in 2013.
Regardless of what happens with Netflix, fans of Hill have at least one project to look forward to: AMC ordered a series based on his vampire novel NOS4A2 in April, which is expected to premiere sometime next year.