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Theo James to Star in Stephen King’s ‘The Monkey,’ Produced by James Wan

Theo James will star in the latest feature film adaptation of a Stephen King short story. “The Monkey” will be adapted for the screen by Osgood Perkins, who will write and direct.

The film will be produced by Atomic Monster’s James Wan and Michael Clear, C2 Motion Picture Group’s Jason Cloth and Dave Caplan (Babylon). King, Wan and the man who helmed “The Blackcoat’s Daughter” seems like a true horror movie triple threat.

Automatik’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Fred Berger, Chris Ferguson and Stars Collective’s Peter Luo and Nancy Xu will executive produce, alongside John Friedberg for Black Bear International. The project was developed with Atomic Monster and Stars Collective, with C2 Motion Picture Group boarding to fully finance. Black Bear International will introduce the project to buyers at Cannes. The deal was negotiated on behalf of Black Bear International by Jill Silfen.

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Talking about the project, Wan said: “Stephen King is the godfather of the horror genre. He had a huge influence on me as a child and throughout my career and it’s always been a dream to help bring one of his stories to life. The Monkey is a personal favorite, with its simple, iconic, and incredibly marketable conceit. And I can’t imagine anyone better than a visionary and lifelong genre fan like Osgood to bring this to life.”

“The Monkey” was initially published as a booklet included in Gallery magazine in 1980, and then revised and republished in King’s “Skeleton Crew” short story collection in 1985. It was nominated for a British Fantasy Award for best short story in 1982.

The story concerns twin brothers who discover an old monkey toy in their father’s attic. After the discovery correlates with a handful of gruesome deaths, they throw away the monkey and move on. They grow apart over the years, but a rash of renewed fatalities potentially tied to their childhood perils leads them to reunite and try to destroy the murder monkey.

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“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Osgood, James, Brian and our friends at Black Bear International to present Stephen King’s The Monkey. It perfectly checks the box of what is working in the marketplace right now and will be a hot property,” said Jason Cloth and Dave Caplan. “We can’t wait for audiences to see Theo James in this role – he is really going to knock it out of the park with an amazing performance.”

James broke out in Kate Beckinsale’s last two “Underworld” movies and starred alongside Shailene Woodley in all three “Divergent” films. Along with roles in smaller-scale films like “How it Ends,” “Duel” and “War on Everyone,” James was a featured player in the most recent season of HBO’s “The White Lotus.” He will next be seen as the lead in a Netflix episodic version of Guy Ritchie’s “The Gentlemen.”

Perkins is the son of “Psycho” and “Fear Strikes Out” star Anthony Perkins, and even played a young Norman Bates in “Psycho II” in 1983. As a genre filmmaker, Perkins burst onto the horror scene with “The Blackcoat’s Daughter,” a well-received slow-burn horror flick starring Emma Roberts and Kiernan Shipka. He followed up with “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives by the Lane” and “Gretel & Hansel,” a visually dynamic and downright hypotonic slow-burn that played theatrically in early 2020.

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