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Film News Roundup: Stephen King’s ‘Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon’ Movie in the Works

In today’s film news roundup, a Stephen King horror movie is in the works, “Downton Abbey” is seeing strong sales and a project about Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson is in development.

KING ADAPTATION

Stephen King’s “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” has been set up as a movie at George A. Romero’s Sanibel Films, Vertigo Entertainment and Origin Story.

Vertigo partners Roy Lee and Jon Berg will produce the film alongside Chris Romero and Ryan Silbert. Andrew Childs will executive produce.

“The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon,” published in 1999 and tells the story of a 9-year-old girl who gets lost on the Appalachian Trail. As she stumbles through the woods for nine days, she wanders farther and farther from civilization as she tries to make her way back home. The late George Romero had been developing the movie more than a decade ago.

“I’m thrilled that my book is being brought to the screen, and that George’s company is involved,” King said.

Vertigo’s upcoming releases include a pair of King adaptations: “It: Chapter 2” and “Dr. Sleep.”

Popular on Variety

ADVANCE TICKETS

Online ticket seller Fandango has reported that “Downton Abbey” has outsold “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” in its first full day of advance ticket sales.

“In its five-year TV run, ‘Downton Abbey’ garnered an incredible global following,” says Fandango managing editor Erik Davis. “The first day sales are among the best we’ve seen for any movie this year. No doubt, fans have missed their favorite characters and are super-excited to see what new schemes arise in the upcoming film.”

The TV show followed the lives of the Crawleys and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century. During its six-season run from 2010 to 2015, the series won 15 Emmy Awards and earned 69 Emmy nominations in total, making “Downton Abbey” the most-nominated non-U.S. TV show in the history of the Emmys.

Original cast members, including Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, and Hugh Bonneville, are returning for the movie. Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, David Haig, Tuppence Middleton, Kate Phillips, and Stephen Campbell Moore have joined the cast.

PROJECT LAUNCH

New York-based Velocity Creatives has announced production for its first-ever feature film, “Rebel,” based on the story of a Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson.

In 1782, at the age of 22, Sampson disguised herself as a man, joined the Continental Army and fought in the Revolutionary War against the British. She took part in several battles, and received  honors for her service.

Susan Cameron’s “Rebel” screenplay received the 2018 Artemis Women In Action Festival’s Best Screenplay Award.

“Interest in women’s stories has grown immensely over the last few years, and I believe the right time for this story is now,” Cameron said.  “It fills a gap in our history, where remarkable women are not adequately recognized. France has Joan of Arc, America has Deborah Sampson.”

Javier Gonzalez, whose credits include “Swallow” and “This Teacher,” is producing. Filming is set to start in the spring.

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