Stephen King's Unexpected New Thriller Takes a Major Step Towards Release

Hollywood will not rest until every King story has been adapted.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Director Osgood Perkins attends "The Blackcoat's Daughter" screening hosted...
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Few horror tropes are as timeless as a possessed doll. That simple yet creepy concept has fueled many a modern story, from Child’s Play to James Wan’s Conjuring series. Even Stephen King tried his hand at the subject, penning a short story about an evil cymbal-banging monkey toy in 1980. The story, appropriately titled “The Monkey,” is one of King’s more obscure works. But like seemingly everything else in the author’s oeuvre, it will soon get a big-screen adaptation from an emerging voice in horror.

Osgood Perkins, the son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins, has helmed films like The Blackcoat’s Daughter and the twisty Gretel & Hansel, along with the upcoming Daddy Longlegs. He’s also been quietly working on an adaptation of The Monkey; the feature recently wrapped filming, and after unveiling a promo at the Cannes Film Festival, it quickly secured a domestic distributor.

With The Monkey, Theo James stars in his first supernatural horror.

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The White Lotus’ Theo James stars alongside Tatiana Maslany (SheHulk: Attorney at Law), Elijah Wood (The Lord Of The Rings), and Christian Convery (Sweet Tooth). King’s story follows twin brothers (played initially by Convery) who discover an old monkey toy in their family’s attic. It seems to trigger a series of grisly deaths, and after trying and failing to rid themselves of the monkey and its curse, the brothers reunite in adulthood (played by James) to end the cycle before it’s too late.

The Monkey is not well known, although King would repurpose some plot points for It and an episode of The X-Files, Season 5’s “Chinga.” But Perkins seems to have found a way to update the story for a new generation. Given the buzz it’s already garnered at Cannes, it could be the freshest take on a King story we’ve seen in a while.

Perkins’ preview of The Monkey reportedly incited “a multi-buyer tug of war,” according to Deadline. Neon, the distributor behind projects like Immaculate, Infinity Pool, and Perkins’ own Daddy Longlegs, ultimately came out on top. Neon has quickly established itself as a hub for indie horror gems, especially disturbing ones. That the studio is already reteaming with Perkins speaks to a budding partnership that hopefully won’t end with The Monkey.

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