“Late last night and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door. I want to go out, don’t know if I can, ’cause I’m so afraid of the Tommyknocker man.”
The Tommyknockers is a 1987 sci-fi/horror novel from Stephen King and the second-best selling book of his career, which is ironic because King himself considers it a misstep. In an interview with Rolling Stone King gave his honest opinion on the book:
“I mean, The Tommyknockers is an awful book. That was the last one I wrote before I cleaned up my act. And I’ve thought about it a lot lately and said to myself, ‘There’s really a good book in here, underneath all the sort of spurious energy that cocaine provides, and I ought to go back.’ The book is about 700 pages long, and I’m thinking, ‘There’s probably a good 350-page novel in there.'”
For those who don’t know James Wan is the director of The Conjuring franchise as well as the first two Insidious films. On top of directing he’s also a producer through his own company Atomic Monster Productions which focuses mostly on horror films. He has become a bit of an auteur filmmaker within the haunted-house horror sub-genre. Wan often crafts creative jump-scares within scenes soaked in atmosphere, building deep-seated terror within his audience.
Roy Lee, is a producer for Vertigo Entertainment credited with such films as: The Grudge (2004), The Ring (2002) and the mega-hit from last summer It. The duo are working alongside Larry Sanitsky, a notable figure in the industry who has been producing for almost 35 years. Sanitsky was also an executive producer on the original The Tommyknockers miniseries from 1993 that starred Jimmy Smits and Marg Helenberger that was a surprise hit. Sanitsky currently holds the screen rights and gave a brief statement in regards to the novel for potential buyers interested in his production. The statement was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive:
“It is an allegorical tale of addiction (Stephen was struggling with his own at the time), the threat of nuclear power, the danger of mass hysteria and the absurdity of technical evolution run a muck. All are as relevant today as the day the novel was written. It is also a tale about the eternal power of love and the grace of redemption.”
The novel involves a writer named Bobbi Anderson who discovers a buried space-craft deep within the forest close to her home. Upon exposure, the ship releases a powerful but invisible gas that begins affecting everyone in town with the exception of James Eric Gardener who goes by Gard.
After a skiing accident, Gard was left with a steel plate in his head that somehow makes him immune to the alien toxin. The gas is revealed to heighten the intellect of those infected but also increases psychotic behavior. Especially when the ship and its influence are threatened.