Excerpt from the cover of Locke & Key No. 1.
It was touch and go there for a minute, but Locke & Key might have finally found a home at Netflix. The live-action supernatural thriller is an adaptation of a comics series written by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son and the author of novels such as NOS4A2 and The Fireman) and drawn by Gabriel Rodríguez, and it’s had a rocky go of it. First came efforts to develop the property as a movie, but those plans gave way to the creation of a TV pilot, directed by Mark Romanek and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. It was set to launch on Fox in 2011, then was quashed by the network before it could go to series. The property was resurrected with Lost’s Carlton Cuse as EP and a pilot order from Hulu in April of 2017, and It director Andy Muschietti was brought onboard to direct said pilot, but this March brought news that the streamer had dumped the project. And yet, hope springs eternal: Vulture can report that Netflix is in talks to license the rights for Locke & Key and redevelop the series.
Perhaps Locke & Key has stumbled because its pitch is so odd. The comic, put out by IDW Publishing, launched in 2008 and ran until 2013, and laid out a sprawling epic with a bevy of mystical mishegoss. The initial story arc was simple enough: a group of children, recovering from the grisly murder of their father, move into their ancestral mansion and discover it has magical properties involving enchanted keys that a demon wants to obtain. From there, it gets a lot weirder, with intertwining, nonchronological narratives about giants, Revolutionary War soldiers discovering an interdimensional vortex, and a terrifying structure called the Drowning Cave. Cuse is still executive producing, as are Lindsey Springer; IDW’s Ted Adams and David Ozer; Muschietti; and Muschietti’s sister, Barbara Muschietti. A new pilot will be filmed, but thanks to the post-Hulu delay, Muschietti can no longer do it due to scheduling conflicts with the It sequel, which he’s also directing. Additional details are sparse, but expect the show to be one of the more talked-about items in the geekosphere if it finally makes it to the finish line.