“Who would think that grass could be frightening? Trust Stephen King and Joe Hill to find a way. They have transformed an otherwise innocuous Kansas field into a stage for some of the most disturbing horror fiction I have ever read”. This was said by filmmaker Vincenzo Natali back in 2015 when he showed the interest of directing a movie adaptation of the novel written hand with hand by Stephen King with his son and fellow author.
In the Tall Grass appeared for the first time published in two parts in the June/July and August 2012 issues of Esquire magazine. In October the same year the novel was released as e-book, and also in the format of audiobook read by actor Stephen Lang. The book begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they’ve lost one another. The boy’s cries are more and more desperate.
Vincenzo Natali, responsable of movies like Cypher (2002) and Splice (2009), and whose debut title Cube (1997) became an instant classic of modern science fiction cinema, has spent the latest years of his career working mainly on television projects. He is behind some episodes of shows like Hannibal (2013–2015), Wayward Pines (2015– ), Lost in Space (2018– ) and The Returned (2015). His latest movie credit was the authoring of the segment “U is for Utopia” in ABCs of Death 2 (2014). His latest work to date was directing the pilot episode for the Tremors TV series, reuniting Kevin Bacon with his well remembered character Valentine McKee. But as was recently announced the producers decided to cancel the show after the first episode, so now we will have to conform with Tremors (2018) being merely a TV movie.
Netflix has decided to bet on Natali to carry on with his vision for In the Tall Grass and has finally greenlit the project. This is not the first time that the popular Video on Demand platform is producing and owning an adaptation of a Stephen King book, since they already have in their catalog the titles Gerald’s Game (2017) and 1922 (2017). James Marsden is currently negociating with the producers to star the film. He is better remembered as the star in X-Men (2000) and the remake Straw Dogs (2011), and one of the most notable faces of one of the TV series of the moment, Westworld (2016– ) , where Vicenzo Natali has been in charge to direct a couple of episodes.
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