An adaptation of Stephen King's "Cell" has been in the works for the better part of a decade, but it looks like it might finally be on the way as Cargo Entertainment has attached "Paranormal Activity 2" director Tod "Kip" Williams to helm the film.
King's original novel was released in 2006 and centers on a graphic novel artist who attempts to reunite with his wife and son in the wake of an apocalypse caused by a devastating pulse that surges through a mobile phone network. John Cusack came aboard to star as the lead last October, which will mark his return to King territory after appearing in "1408" back in 2007.
"Cell" will be a true collaboration with King; not only did his novel provide the source material, but the author also wrote the film's screenplay alongside "The Last House on the Left" scribe Adam Alleca. King actually completed his work on the screenplay all the way back in 2009, at which point he revealed that he had changed the ending for the film, but it's possible that things have changed since then.
The film has actually been in development since Dimension optioned the rights to "Cell" a few months after the book's publication in 2006. Back then, the plan was to have Eli Roth to direct the adaptation, but the "Hostel" director got caught up in his own work before departing the project in 2009.
Upon exiting, he revealed that it came down to a difference in opinion over the film's execution, and the experience caused him to realize that he prefers directing his own work instead of adapting other material.
The long delay has either been fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how one feels about zombies; technically, "Cell" is another take on the undead genre since the cellphone signal turns its victims into mindless killers. Had the film managed to be released a few years ago, it might have gotten a jump on the whole zombie craze; now, though, the genre's been done to death, so "Cell" might feel like a shambling also-ran at this point.
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- Stephen King