AFM: Samuel L. Jackson Joins John Cusack in Stephen King’s ‘Cell’

Samuel L. Jackson Joins John Cusack
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Production set to start in January

Samuel L. Jackson has come on board to co-star with John Cusack in the apocalyptic thriller “Cell,” based on the novel by Stephen King.

International Film Trust will be presenting the project to buyers at the American Film Market this week. Paradigm and CAA are co-repping the domestic rights.

Tod “Kip” Williams will direct, with production set to begin in January. Benaroya Pictures is financing.

King’s story, published in 2006, follows a New England artist struggling to reunite with his son after a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network turns humans into mindless vicious animals.

Jackson, last seen in “Django Unchained,” will play Tom McCourt, an engineer and former soldier who escapes from Boston along with Cusack’s character, Clay Riddell.

Producers are Richard Saperstein, Michael Benaroya, Brian Witten and Shara Kay. While president at Dimension Films, Saperstein oversaw two Stephen King adaptations — “The Mist,” directed by Frank Darabont, and “1408,’ which also starred Cusack and Jackson.

The screenplay for “Cell” was written by Stephen King and Adam Alleca (“Last House on the Left”). Edward Mokhtarian, Armen Aghaeian, Xavier Gens, and Laurence Freed will executive produce.

Jackson is represented by ICM, Anonymous Content, and attorney Jeffrey Bernstein of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Paradigm represents Stephen King. CAA represents Benaroya Pictures and Cusack.  Williams is represented by ICM.

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  1. Robin Boyd says:

    Cell doesn’t seem like it is going to follow the story line of the book very much either. One of my favorite characters in cell is Tom, who is a small built, soft spoken White guy who is the opposite of masculine but is still a man who does what he must and is capable of doing. Having Samuel Jackson play Tom as an ex-military guy is going to completely change the interaction between the two main characters.

  2. Nel Pollock says:

    Can’t wait to see this movie – have read the book at least three times (as I do all of Stephen’s books)I am totally hooked on his books. I was disappointed in the production of “Under the Dome” – did not follow the story line at all – I am surprised, Stephen, that you allowed this to happen.

  3. scott says:

    I choose to have faith in this film, mostly to maintain the manic state I’ve been in since hearing this breaking news. John and Samuel? You know they’re SK veterans so rockaway guys! Gonna be awesome-I hope, oh how I hope!

  4. Erin says:

    I’m so excited! Can’t wait to see it!

  5. Jimmy Ray says:

    Great book but Samuel Jackson as Tom is a complete and utter misfire. What were they thinking?

  6. Adena says:

    Sooooo excited for this movie, love the book & have been wishing for this since it first came out, and love the choices of casting so far. Stephen King is involved with writing the screenplay it’s going to be sooooo good. :-)

  7. Angela says:

    I HATE it when they change the story for the movie.. I love stephen king books just the way they are!!

  8. Charles says:

    A few years ago there was a charity golf match in Monterey Ca where Sanuel L jackson was signing autographs , the only people he refused to give an autograph too were any American Soldier in uniform.

  9. Charlie from Poland says:

    jesus fuck I love this book but Samuel l. Jackson as Tom????? it will be disaster….

  10. occultology says:

    Major plot hole error here; humans have ALWAYS been mindless vicious animals.

  11. Shannon says:

    The book was one of his best, and the fact Cusack & Jackson are in it makes me very excited! Brilliant actors who did fab in 1408. Cannot wait!

  12. Denzil Mason says:

    I loved the book and have been waiting on the movie.

  13. Horror fan says:

    Been hearing good things about this production for a while. Should be a good one!

  14. Kristen says:

    Love the book but if they’re already changing major character storylines I’m really worried. Richard Dreyfuss would have been a perfect Tom. Sammie is a complete departure.

  15. kathi clayton says:

    Good news, especially that Mr. King will write the screenplay!

  16. Ashley says:

    Can’t wait for this movie to come out either!! Loved this story!!! Then again….Love all Stephen King stories.

  17. Elizabeth Coleman says:

    Can’t wait for this movie. So excited. Love Stephen King.

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