The Talisman: Duffer Brothers give an update on their Stephen King / Peter Straub adaptation

About a year and a half ago, it was announced that Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers will be producing a series adaptation of the Stephen King and Peter Straub novel The Talisman (pick up a copy HERE). Now Deadline has broken the news that the Duffers are launching a production company called Upside Down Pictures, and one of the projects on the Upside Down slate is indeed that series adaptation of The Talisman. Which makes sense, since the Duffers just reminded the world of their involvement with that project by showing a copy of The Talisman in the final moments of Stranger Things season 4.

Speaking with Deadline, the Duffers had this to say about The Talisman:

MATT DUFFER: Well, if you can believe it, we’re really into Stephen King, and this was the ultimate. Our friend Curtis Gwinn, one of the main writers on Stranger Things actually asked if we’d be interested in getting involved. There was a show that he was talking with Amblin about. We were immediately excited. We loved The Talisman. It may be the last great ’80s Stephen King book that has not been previously adapted, and that’s only because Amblin and Spielberg have held onto it for as long as they have. They own the rights, and they haven’t allowed any version to get made up to hopefully now. It’s a huge book, it’s really long and I don’t think it would ever have really worked effectively as a movie. Until recently, I don’t think it would have worked as television. It’s like we’re in this new era now where there’s a kind of a merging of television shows that feel and look like movies because they’re getting these pretty big budgets behind them. So, something like Talisman that even five years ago was not doable, is very doable now. It involves a lot of things that are very similar to Stranger Things. It’s about a kid who’s trying to save his dying mother and he travels into another dimension in order to do so. I mean, it’s much more fantasy. It has sci-fi. It has horror elements. It has a lot of heart. It has everything that we love. And it’s got the best werewolf character I think, ever.

ROSS DUFFER: The original pitch for Stranger Things was, what if Stephen Spielberg is filming a long lost Stephen King book you’ve never read? So, how could we turn down a chance where there actually are those two guys working together?

MATT DUFFER: It’s definitely a dream project. In terms of when it’s going to get made. I don’t know. We just had a meeting about it, but it’s just an outline for the first episode. It’s a ways off but we’re really excited about it.

Other Upside Down Pictures projects include the Stranger Things spin-off the Duffers have been talking about lately, an original series from creators Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), a Death Note adaptation, and a new stage play set within the world and mythology of Stranger Things, produced by Sonia Friedman, Stephen Daldry, and Netflix.

I love The Talisman and have been wanting to see a faithful adaptation of the book since I first read it many years ago. Hopefully that’s what the Duffer Brothers, showrunner Curtis Gwinn, Amblin Entertainment, and Paramount Television will be delivering with this show.

Do you want to see a series based on The Talisman? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

The Talisman Stephen King Peter Straub

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.