‘Oculus’ Director to Tackle Tricky Stephen King Adaptation Next
While 'Oculus' wasn't a titan at the box office like 'The Conjuring,' it was definitely quite a clever and spooky little horror flick, making director Mike Flanagan a name to keep an eye on. Flanagan has set his next project, and it's certainly going to take someone with clever ideas for an adaptation of Stephen King's 'Gerald's Game'
Although Stephen King novels and stories are easy fodder for adaptation, 'Gerald's Game' is a tough one: the 1992 novel tells the story of Jessie Burlingame, whose husband is fond of sexual domination games, so he handcuffs her to the bed at their summer house for an afternoon of fun. Unfortunately, Gerald dies of a heart attack (this is all in the first several pages!), leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed with no way out. What follows is more than just a harrowing tale of survival, as Jessie recalls painful memories from her past and also deals with something lurking in the shadows, which may or may not be her mind devolving into madness after days of being isolated and chained up.
As you can see, 'Gerald's Game' isn't an easy book to adapt to film as much of it takes place in Jessie's thoughts, but with the right director and a solid script, this could be a very terrifying experience when translated to the big screen. According to Deadline, Flanagan is co-writing with his partner Jeff Howard, and his producing partner, Trevor Macy, had this to say about the project:
In the tradition of Misery and Dolores Claiborne, Gerald’s Game is one of the most intense and compelling novels I’ve ever read, and this has been a dream project for many years. Trevor and I are very excited to help translate that experience for an audience.
Macy smartly drops the titles 'Misery' and 'Dolores Claiborne,' which both feature Kathy Bates in leading roles, and both feature a strong female presence. As great as 'Gerald's Game' is, though, it does sort of spin out in the final pages, and much of Jessie's contemplation of her painful past when taken in context of her current situation could have the audience drawing uncomfortable conclusions, where Jessie is to blame for what happens to her.
But here's a fun fact: the 'Dolores Claiborne' novel actually has a spooky tie-in with 'Gerald's Game.'