Universal and Jason Blum to Bring Stephen King Tale to the Screen

Stephen King

"Mercy," based on the short story "Gramma," will star Frances O'Connor and be directed by Peter Cornwell.

Universal Pictures and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions are joining forces on the fantasy-horror tale Mercy, an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story Gramma.

British actress Frances O’Connor will star in the project, to be directed by Peter Cornwell from a script by Matt Greenberg. Blum will produce with Wonderland Sound and Vision’s McG and Mary Viola.

The tale, which King first published in 1984 in Wierdbook magazine and which was then published in his 1985 short story collection Skeleton Key, concerns a mother, played by O’Connor, with two young sons who come to discover their ailing grandmother, Mercy, is a witch.

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Blum, repped by CAA, has a first-look deal to produce low-budget genre pics for Universal. The producer currently has two horror hits playing theaters: Paranormal Activity 4 and Sinister.

O’Connor, repped by Gersh and Wishlab, has appeared in A.I. Artificial Intelligence and, most recently, The Hunter.

McG, who last directed This Means War and exec produces Supernatural, is repped by WME, Management 360 and Slone, Offer, Weber and Dern.

Cornwell, repped by ICM Partners, the Gotham Group and Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson, directed 2009’s The Haunting in Connecticut.

Greenberg, repped by UTA, Magnolia Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern, previously adapted another King short story, 1408, into the 2007 feature of the same name.