A feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell has been in development for quite some time, but it’s expected to begin shooting early next year. John Cusack is already on board to star in the movie and it has just been revealed that Samuel L. Jackson will be joining him.
According to Deadline, “Jackson plays Tom McCourt, an engineer and former soldier who with Cusack’s Clay Riddell character flees from Boston as the world turns mad thanks to the phones.” For those who are unfamiliar with the novel, Stephen King’s Cell was originally published in 2006 and involves a cell signal that turns most of the population into zombies:
“Artist Clayton Riddell had been in Boston negotiating a successful deal to sell his comic book project. His joy at finally hitting it big is shattered by an event called The Pulse which causes all those who were using their cell phones at the time of The Pulse to become zombies attacking and killing anyone in their way. Fortunately for Clay, he does not own a cell phone. In the panic to get out of Boston and find his way home to his wife and son in Maine, he is joined by Tom McCourt, a man he meets in the meleé immediately following The Pulse and a young girl, Alice, who they rescue from being killed by one of the “crazies.” The story follows their terrifying journey, avoiding capture—and worse—by the “crazies” who are beginning to “flock” and are led by one they call Raggedy Man as they attempt to reach Maine and a place called Kashwak which they hope will be their salvation. “
Paranormal Activity 2′s Tod “Kip” Williams is directing, with Adam Alleca (The Last House On The Left remake) and Stephen King having worked together on the script. *Updated with official press release:
“Benaroya Pictures and The Genre Company announced today they have set Samuel L. Jackson to co-star with John Cusack in the apocalyptic thriller CELL, based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King. Tod “Kip” Williams will direct, with production set to begin in January. Benaroya Pictures is financing.
Samuel L. Jackson most recently co-starred in last year’s Django Unchained and next appears in the upcoming filmsOldboy and Robocop as well as Captain America 2: Winter Soldier and The Avengers sequel. He is currently in production on Secret Service. In CELL, Jackson will play Tom McCourt, an engineer and former soldier who escapes from Boston along with Cusack’s character, Clay Riddell, after a mysterious pulse, transmitted by cell phones, spreads like a virus through the human population.
“It’s really exciting to have such a great cast continue to come together on this project,” said Benaroya Pictures principal, Michael Benaroya. “Our goal is to create exciting commercial fare with top talent to really deliver on the concept of an ‘elevated genre’ film.”
Producing the project are Richard Saperstein (Se7en, Hancock), Michael Benaroya (Lawless, Margin Call), Brian Witten (Chernobyl Diaries, Friday the 13th, Final Destination) and Shara Kay (Silent Night). While President of Dimension Films, Saperstein oversaw the Stephen King adaptations, The Mist, directed by Frank Darabont, and 1408, which also starred Cusack and Jackson, and grossed over $130 million worldwide.
The screenplay for CELL was written by Stephen King and Adam Alleca (Last House on the Left). Edward Mokhtarian, Armen Aghaeian, Xavier Gens, and Laurence Freed will executive produce. Mark Leyner and Ben Insler will co-produce.
International Film Trust will be presenting the project to buyers at the upcoming American Film Market.
Samuel L. Jackson is represented by ICM, Anonymous Content, and attorney Jeffrey Bernstein of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
Paradigm represents Stephen King, and is co-representing the film for the US market with CAA, which represents Benaroya Pictures and John Cusack. Tod Williams is represented by ICM.”