'Locke & Key' Gets Netflix Premiere Date, Ending 9-Year Journey to Screen

The long-gestating adaptation of the horror comic from executive producer Carlton Cuse stars Darby Stanchfield.
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Darby Stanchfield

The long, long journey to get an adaptation of beloved graphic novel Locke & Key to the screen has an end date.

Netflix will debut a series based on the Joe Hill-Gabriel Rodriguez comic on Feb. 7 — almost a decade after the first attempt at an adaptation.

The series, from Carlton Cuse (Lost, Jack Ryan) and Meredith Averill (The Haunting of Hill House), centers on the Locke family — mom Nina (Scandal's Darby Stanchfield) and kids Bode (Jackson Robert Scott, It Chapter 2), Tyler (Connor Jessup, American Crime) and Kinsey (Emilia Jones). After the gruesome murder of their father, the siblings and Nina move into their ancestral home, Keyhouse, which they discover is full of magical keys that may be connected to their father's death.

As the Locke children explore the keys and their unique powers, a mysterious demon awakens — and will stop at nothing to steal the keys.

The cast also includes Bill Heck as Rendell Locke, Laysla De Oliveira as Dodge, Thomas Mitchell Barnet as Sam Lesser and Griffin Gluck as Gabe.

The premiere date will put Locke & Key in front of viewers some nine years after the IDW comic first went into development. The horror thriller was originally developed for television at Fox, which went to pilot on a take from Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) during the 2010-11 broadcast season. That project, from executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Steven Spielberg and starring Mark Pellegrino, Miranda Otto, Jesse McCartney, Sarah Bolger and Nick Stahl, did not move forward. (It was screened to overwhelming response at Comic-Con.) Universal then grabbed the rights to the comic with Kurtzman and Orci attached to produce a feature adaptation, which ultimately did not move forward either.

Flash forward to May 2016, when IDW Entertainment CEO Ted Adams and president David Ozer teamed with Circle of Confusion (The Walking Dead) to take a second stab at a small-screen take. The effort was taken out to buyers and landed at Hulu with a pilot order in April 2017, with the streamer edging outlets including Netflix, HBO and FX for the project from showrunner Cuse, with Hill attached to pen the script and It's Andy Muschietti directing.

After Hulu also passed, WME — which reps Cuse and Muschietti — held screenings of the pilot in an effort to find the show a new home. Netflix ordered Locke and Key to series in May 2018. By that time Muschietti was busy with It Chapter 2 and couldn't direct, but he remains an executive producer on the show.

Cuse and Averill executive produce with Aron Eli Coleite, Joe Hill, Chris Ryall; Lydia Antonini and Ted Adams for IDW; Lindsey Springer for Genre Arts; Andy Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti, David Alpert and Rick Jacobs for Circle of Confusion; and Tim Southam, John Weber and Frank Siracusa for Take 5.