Stephen King’s latest bestseller If It Bleeds features four different stories and Hollywood is on board to deliver those stories to audiences.
According to Deadline, three of the stories are being optioned for feature films with the fourth story possibly making its way to HBO due to the inclusion of a character from The Outsider.
Netflix, Blumhouse and Ryan Murphy have optioned the story Mr. Harrigan’s Phone for a feature film with John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) writing and directing. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone features the story of Craig who begins working for Mr. Harrigan when he is a young kid. The wealthy Harrigan and Craig become friends and Craig gives the elderly man a cell phone as a gift. He reluctantly takes it and after the man dies, Craig puts it in the coffin only to start receiving calls and texts from it after leaving his friend a voicemail.
Ben Stiller (Zoolander) will produce, direct and star in an adaptation of Rat. Stiller will play writer Drew Larson who has one story to his name. Every time he attempts to write one of his ideas, he has a mental breakdown. When his latest idea consumes him, he goes to his family cabin to dedicate himself to it. When the old anxieties start to creep in and a storm enters the area, Larson will make a bargain with a mysterious rat in his cabin to help him end his writer’s block, but it will come at a cost.
Darren Aranofsky’s production company Protozoa has optioned The Life of Chuck. The story, told in reverse, starts with teacher Marty Anderson dealing with the end of the world and looking for his ex-wife in a world where the only consistent things he can see are billboards about Charles Krantz. The story then shifts to an adult Chuck Krantz finding a moment of nostalgic happiness unaware of the fate that awaits him and ends with seven year old Chuck living with his grandparents after a tragic accident and being wary of the small attic room in their house that his grandfather says is full of ghosts. There is no word on whether Aranofsky will direct or only produce this feature.
The fourth story If It Bleeds is a sequel to King’s The Outsider in that it features the character of Holly Gibney from that story and his Bill Hodges trilogy of books including Mr. Mercedes. Holly is running her detective agency when a school bombing catches her interest on TV. As she investigates, she discovers something interesting and possibly supernatural about the reporter covering the story. It is being rumored that If It Bleeds is being optioned by HBO as a means of folding the storyline into a future season of The Outsider on the network.