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Justin Long to Join Stephen King’s ‘The 10 O’Clock People’

Oh, look! Another Stephen King adaptation. Imagine that!

Snark aside, the upcoming adaptation of King’s ‘The 10 O’Clock People‘ has a few things going for it that should help it stand out from the crowd of terrible to middling King films that have populated theaters over the years. First, it has director Tom Holland, an old school horror guru most known for directing ‘Child’s Play’ and the original ‘Fright Night.’ Secondly, it is based on a pretty solid story with some interesting potential for cinematic adaptation.

And now, it has Justin Long, so take that as you will.

‘The 10 O’Clock People’ is a short story that was originally published in King’s 1993 collection, ‘Nightmares and Dreamscapes.’ Like so many King short stories, it seems complete on the page but feels more like the first half of a an actual feature film, which means that Holland and his team are probably going to do some pretty hefty extensions on this story to expand it to two hours.

The concept of ‘The 10 O’Clock People’ will sound a little familiar to anyone who has seen John Carpenter’s ‘They Live,’ which was an obvious inspiration for the story. Long will star as an office drone desperate to quit smoking, who allows himself a single cigarette during his 10:00 work break (hence the title). However, our hero soon learns that the strange combination of chemicals in his body brought about by his unique nicotine consumption allow him to see the truth about the world: mysterious monsters (dubbed “batmen” in the story) have infiltrated society for nefarious purposes.

Yeah, it doesn’t make a lot of sense scientifically speaking, but it’s a quick, fun little read and a diverting riff on a familiar subject. The main character is a bit of a cypher on the page, so Long’s casting here feels fine, mainly because this character is going to be whatever he and Holland want him to be. Plus, Long is a horror veteran at this point after starring in ‘Jeepers Creepers’ and ‘Drag Me to Hell.’

No release date has been set for ‘The 10 O’Clock People,’ but it starts shooting this September.

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