The Talisman: Spielberg & Duffer Bros. Adapting Stephen King’s Novel Into a Series

Stephen King and Peter Straub’s fantasy horror novel The Talisman is being adapted into a series with Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Jaws) teaming up with the Emmy-nominated Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things) to finally make the project a reality, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Mark and Ross Duffer will executive produce the series adaptation that is being produced by Netflix in association with Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Paramount Television.


Spielberg acquired the screen rights to The Talisman two years before the book was published in 1984. The filmmaker has spent over 35 years attempting to get the story adapted into a movie. Now, the tale of young Jack Sawyer is heading to the small screen.

The Talisman follows a 12-year old boy named Jack Sawyer who sets off on an epic road-trip quest in order to save his dying mother’s life. He is in search of the Talisman, a powerful relic that can not only heal his mother but, as he learns, save the world. Sawyer’s journey crisscrosses two realities: the America we know and its dangerous, fantasy-world twin, The Territories.

Emmy nominee Curtis Gwinn will act as showrunner and writer for the project. Gwinn worked as a writer and executive producer on the Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things series for Netflix. His credits also include Narcos, The Leftovers, and The Walking Dead.

The Duffer Brothers will executive produce through their Monkey Massacre Productions. Spielberg will executive produce via Amblin Television along with partners Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. King and Paramount Television will also executive produce. Todd Cohen will oversee the day-to-day development of the series for Amblin, along with Spielberg, Frank, and Falvey.

King and Straub wrote a follow-up novel, Black House, in 2001, which follows a now-adult Jack as a retired Los Angeles homicide detective trying to solve a series of murders in a small Wisconsin town.

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