‘Mama’ Director Andy Muschietti to Helm Stephen King’s ‘The Jaunt’
It’s been a while since Andy Muschietti crept up on audiences with Mama, and since then, we’ve been curious to see what the director would deliver next. Today brings some particularly exciting news, especially if you’re a well-read fan of Stephen King. Muschietti is attached to direct a big screen adaptation of King’s chilling short story The Jaunt for Brad Pitt’s Plan B productions.
Deadline reports that Muschietti will direct The Jaunt with Barbara Muschietti producing alongside Pitt’s Plan B banner. Muschietti is also still attached to direct a film adaptation of the video game Shadow of Colossus, though it’s been quite some time since we’ve gotten an update on that project.
The Jaunt was first published as a short story in Twilight Zone magazine before King included it in Skeleton Crew, his notable collection of horror short stories. But this one in particular stands out above the rest. The Jaunt takes place in the 24th century, as teleportation travel (or “Jaunting”) has become a common mode of transportation to get from the Earth to an established colony on Mars. While waiting to take the Jaunt, a father explains the history and mechanics of this form of travel, specifically delving into the unnerving story of the Jaunt’s inventor.
When taking the Jaunt, travelers must be under anesthesia, or else they go insane from the overwhelming experience. The story becomes increasingly intense, with a vividly haunting ending that’s difficult to shake.
The Jaunt is the sort of sci-fi horror story that would make for a great novel or film adaptation, but as with all King’s works, it could be tricky. Part of what makes the story so effective—like most shorts—is its brevity. It simultaneously leaves you wanting more and not wanting to know anything else at all. It may be King’s most perfect short story to date.
King has a host of other projects in development based on his works right now, but it’s interesting to note that Deadline is also reporting that Ron Howard is still attached to The Dark Tower, a project that’s been thought to be dead for a while now.
Josh Boone is working on a multi-film adaptation of The Stand, and is also attached to adapt Lisey’s Story. James Franco is attached to star in Hulu’s 11/22/63 miniseries, produced by J.J. Abrams. Oculus director Mike Flanagan is helming Gerald’s Game (an almost impossible story to adapt, for sure). Cary Fukunaga is adapting King’s It into two films. Several of his other stories are being adapted into TV shows, including Joyland and Mr. Mercedes, and the epic horror fantasy The Talisman is being developed into a TV miniseries by Ehren Kruger. And that’s only about half of it, for the time being.