Writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez Locke & Key is proving the old adage "as one door closes, another one opens" true, with the series adaptation of the horror/fantasy comic book series finding a new home at Netflix. Though the streaming service declined to comment as the deal isn't yet complete, sources say that it is a straight-to-series order with showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) staying with the project.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Cuse and Hill will redevelop the drama in conjunction with IDW Entertainment and that it will include bringing in a new cast and new director. It director Andy Muschietti's directing duties on the film's sequel make him no longer available to direct; but he will receive an executive producer credit.
Reportedly, 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 had reportedly been completed. Representing both Muschietti and showrunner/executive producer Cuse, WME set up screenings to sell the project; which is where negotiation with Netflix first began.
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 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 and Kinsey aren't much better. But not youngest son Bode, 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.
Hulu's pilot for Locke & Key was written by Hill and directed by Muschietti; with a pilot cast that included Frances O'Connor, Megan Charpentier, Jackson Robert Scott, and Jack Mulhern.
Word of Hulu passing 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.