‘Gerald’s Game’ Taps Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood for Netflix’s Stephen King Adaptation
Gerald’s Game is, without a doubt, the most difficult Stephen King novel to adapt, which is why it’s taken a little while for the film version to get off the ground. But with Oculus director Mike Flanagan on board and two leads now secured, it looks like this thing might actually happen after all — and it’ll be interesting to see how Flanagan translates one of King’s most unnerving stories into a feature film.
Per Deadline, Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood have signed on to star in Gerald’s Game, which will debut exclusively on Netflix. Gugino, who most recently appeared in Cameron Crowe’s short-lived Roadies series on Showtime, certainly has the range to play a woman who spends 98 percent of the narrative chained to a bed, talking to herself and (maybe) slowly losing her mind. Greenwood, meanwhile, has made a career out of playing husbands and dads who are total jerks, so that casting is a real no-brainer.
King’s story centers on the titular Gerald and his wife, Jessie, a middle-aged couple who head to their cabin on the lake for a nice weekend. Jessie reluctantly (to put it mildly) indulges Gerald’s fetishes, but when he takes things a little too far, Jessie fights back only to have her husband keel over from a heart attack — leaving her handcuffed to the bed. That’s not a spoiler, by the way; that happens in the first few pages of King’s book.
From there, Jessie is left handcuffed to the bed in a somewhat isolated cabin, and the story follows the desperate attempts to free herself as she recalls her unpleasant childhood — all the while growing increasingly certain that she’s not alone in the house.
That story doesn’t lend itself easily to adaptation, given that the majority of the book is the inner monologue of a naked woman handcuffed to a bed, occasionally flashing back to her traumatic youth. It’s a thinkpiece floodgate just waiting to open.
But Flanagan, who also directed Hush for Netflix, surely (hopefully) has a clever take on the material that will preserve King’s riveting narrative while skirting some of those potentially “problematic” aspects.