Stranger Things Creators Are Teaming With Steven Spielberg For A Stephen King Series

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(Image credit: Netflix)

Steven Spielberg is bringing a Stephen King novel to the small screen after decades of trying, and the team who is making it happen knows what it takes to craft a creepy hit. Spielberg is working with Matt and Ross Duffer, who created and executive produce Netflix's smash hit Stranger Things, along with another Stranger Things writer/producer for an adaptation of King's The Talisman.

The Duffer Brothers are on board to executive produce a series adaptation of Stephen King's The Talisman with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, according to THR. Stranger Things writer and executive producer Curtis Gwinn will write and serve as showrunner for the series. King himself will be an executive producer as well. Although it is still in development with deals not yet finalized, the series will come to Netflix.

If The Talisman isn't a Stephen King book that pops to mind like IT, The Shining, Carrie, or others, that may be because it hasn't been adapted for the large or small screen at this point, and this particular adaptation has been a long time coming for Steven Spielberg. He acquired the rights in perpetuity for The Talisman back in 1982, before the book was even published. Efforts to produce a Talisman movie over the decades since didn't result in a film; it turns out that TV will be the medium.

And based on the smash success of Stranger Things, Netflix could be the ideal platform and The Talisman could already have the ideal production team with the Stranger Things creatives. In fact, the three seasons of Stranger Things so far have included plenty of homages both Spielberg films and Stephen King works, if not The Talisman specifically.

That said, the plot of the book may lend itself to what the Stranger Things team pulled off in Season 1 in one notable way: the central character of the book is a 12-year-old boy, and the breakout stars of Stranger Things' first season were the kids playing 12-year-olds.

Plus, the plot sees young Jack Sawyer going on a quest to save his dying mother with a relic known as the Talisman, which can save the world as well as his mom. Notably, his quest takes him between two different realities. That's not to say that The Talisman will deliver The Upside Down 2.0, as the alternate reality of the book is a twin known as The Territories.

News of a Talisman series comes shortly after another TV adaptation of a Stephen King book finished its run on a streaming service, although The Stand released on CBS All Access (which has since been rebranded as Paramount+). Releasing on Netflix would presumably mean that The Talisman could be binge-watched, but given that the show is still in development, Netflix fans shouldn't start planning viewing parties just yet.

Personally, I'm hoping against hope that Netflix changes its release model for some of its series (including Stranger Things Season 4), but that's probably not especially likely. While there are no details currently available about when the Talisman adaptation courtesy of Steven Spielberg and members of the Stranger Things team might enter production, at least Stranger Things Season 4 is expected at some point in 2021 despite a series of delays in 2020.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).