It appears director Andy Muschietti's series pilot for his adaptation of writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez's horror/fantasy comic book series Locke & Key is looking for a new home, with Hulu passing on the project. Starring Frances O'Connor, Megan Charpentier, Jackson Robert Scott and Jack Mulhern, the Hill-written/Muschietti-directed pilot is now being pitched to other streaming services and networks.
Word of Hulu taking a pass on the project first came during an interview Cultured Vultures conducted with actor Samantha Mathis (The Strain, Under the Dome) ahead of the 2018 SXSW Film Festival premiere of You Can Choose Your Family — her new film. What's particularly interesting is that the interview might be the first time it was reported that Mathis had joined the cast:
What other projects are you working on?
Samantha Mathis: I just finished a movie that Jason Blum produced. It was originally called All That We Destroy. I think now it's going to be called Honeycomb and it's a thriller horror, basically a three-hander. I just finished that a couple weeks ago. I did a pilot for Hulu called Locke and Key but it didn't get picked up by Hulu. It's getting shopped around to Amazon and Netflix and Apple and everyone right now. Who knows, maybe that will end up some place.
Is that a Marvel series or am I thinking of something else?
Samantha Mathis:It's not. It's Joe Hill, Stephen King's son. A series of graphic of novels that are very popular dealing with a haunted house. Very popular. We'll see what happens.
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting sources who say Hulu executives — including new chief content officer Joel Stillerman and senior vice-president Craig Erwich — wanted to pick up the pilot, but new CEO Randy Freer was not a fan of it. Freer reportedly made the final decision to pass on a series order, even though seven scripts have reportedly been completed. Representing both Muschietti and showrunner/executive producer Carlton Cuse (Lost), WME set up screenings to sell the project to multiple outlets, including Netflix, Amazon, and Apple.
Following their father's gruesome murder in a violent home invasion, the Locke children return to his childhood home of Keyhouse in secluded Lovecraft, Massachusetts. Their mother, Nina (O'Connor), is too trapped in her grief—and a wine bottle—to notice that all in Keyhouse is not what it seems: too many locked doors, too many unanswered questions. Older kids Tyler (Mulhern) and Kinsey (Charpentier) aren't much better. But not youngest son Bode (Scott), who quickly finds a new friend living in an empty well and a new toy, a key, that offers hours of spirited entertainment. But again, all at Keyhouse is not what it seems, and not all doors are meant to be opened. Soon, horrors old and new, real and imagined, will come ravening after the Lockes and the secrets their family holds.
Nate Corddry plays the Locke children's protective uncle Duncan, who harbors his own secrets; with Danny Glover as English teacher Joe Ridgeway, eccentric mentor to Tyler. Owen Teague portrays Sam Lesser, a violent and deeply troubled adolescent who was a student at the Locke's school.
Hill and Cuse shepherded the Locke & Key pilot with IDW Entertainment. Cuse serves as showrunner and executive-produced the pilot with Hill, Barbara Muschietti, Lindsey Springer, Ted Adams and David Ozer of IDW Entertainment; and David Alpert and Rick Jacobs from Circle of Confusion.