Universal Pictures has won an auction for Stephen King’s “The Tommyknockers,” which is being developed as a movie by producers James Wan and Roy Lee.
The deal closed Friday afternoon. Netflix and Sony were also bidding. Wan, who’s directing “Aquaman” and produces “The Conjuring” franchise, will produce through his Atomic Monster company. Lee, whose credits include “It,” the Lego movies, and “The Departed,” will produce through Vertigo Entertainment.
The duo has teamed up with Larry Sanitsky, who executive produced the 1993 ABC miniseries adaptation of “The Tommyknockers,” starring Jimmy Smits and Marg Helgenberger.
The producers began shopping the package to studios through Paradigm earlier this month. “It is an allegorical tale of addiction (Stephen was struggling with his own at the time), the threat of nuclear power, the danger of mass hysteria, and the absurdity of technical evolution run amuck,” Sanitsky said. “All are as relevant today as the day the novel was written. It is also a tale about the eternal power of love and the grace of redemption.”
The book was published in 1987 and is set in a town in Maine that falls under the influence of a dangerous gas from an unearthed spacecraft. The gas begins to transform residents, giving them enhanced abilities, but also making them violent.
New Line’s adaptation of King’s “It” was a massive hit, grossing more than $700 million at the worldwide box office. The sequel is already set for release on Sept. 6, 2019.
Paradigm reps King and Wan. The news was first reported by Deadline.