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Following a rollercoaster eight years in which multiple outlets attempted to bring IDW’s beloved comic Locke & Key to the big and small screen, Netflix is moving forward with the series.
Two months after Netflix was reported to be near a deal to pick up the drama after Hulu’s surprising pilot pass, the former has officially ordered Locke & Key to series. The first season will consist of 10 hourlong episodes. Netflix will recast the series.
As previously announced, Netflix is redeveloping and recasting the Hulu take. As part of the creative changes, Meredith Averill (The Good Wife) has boarded Netflix’s iteration as a co-showrunner alongside Carlton Cuse. Aaron Eli Coleite has also boarded as an exec producer and did a rewrite on the pilot episode alongside comic creator Joe Hill. The Hulu pilot take was originally penned by Hill and Cuse. A new director to replace Andy Muschietti (It) has not yet been announced. Muschietti is busy working on It 2 and was no longer available to direct the Netflix version. He and sister Barbara Muschietti will remain credited as exec producers on the series. The Netflix show will be entirely recast.
Cuse will serve as showrunner alongside Averill on the series, which was created, written and exec produced by Hill. Cuse, Coleite and Averill will get a “series developed by” credit on the Netflix take.
IDW’s David Ozer, Ted Adams, Cuse’s Genre Arts producing partner Lindsey Springer, Coleite, the Muschiettis and Circle of Confusion’s David Alpert and Rick Jacobs will also exec produce. (Adams will still be credited as an executive producer though he recently took a sabbatical from IDW, with a new CEO announced Wednesday.)
With the Netflix series order, Locke & Key has crossed the finish line to series pickup for the first time since it was initially put in development eight years ago. 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. The 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 that year.) Universal then grabbed the rights to the comic with Kurtzman and Orsi attached to produce a feature adaptation, which ultimately did not move forward.
Flash-forward to May 2016, when then-IDW Entertainment CEO Adams and president 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 and with Hill attached to pen the script.
Locke & Key is a horror-fantasy series that revolves around three siblings (Jack Mulhern, Megan Carpentier, Jackson Robert Scott in the Hulu pilot) who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Maine only to find the house has magical keys that give them an array of powers. Little do they know that a devious demon also wants the keys and will stop at nothing to attain them.
With Locke & Key, Netflix has added another comic book franchise to a roster that already includes multiple Marvel dramas including Jessica Jones and The Punisher as well as Riverdale offshoot Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Mark Millar’s recently announced slate.
Coleite, who counts ABC’s The River, NBC’s Heroes and Fox’s Party of Five among his credits, is repped by WME. Averill has Netflix’s upcoming The Haunting of Hill House, Fox’s Gone reboot pilot, The CW’s Jane the Virgin and Star-Crossed among her credits. She’s with WME.
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