Long Set For The Ten O'Clock People

In talks to tackle Stephen King tale

While several of the other stories it shares pages with in Stephen King’s anthology Nightmares And Dreamscapes have been adapted into movies or TV series episodes, The Ten O’Clock People has been left to wonder if it would ever get the call. But now, thanks to original Fright Night writer-director (and veteran King collaborator) Tom Holland, a film is in development. And the team has reached out to Justin Long to star.

The story, written in a frenzied, nicotine-craving three-day rush by King in the 1990s, focuses on Brandon Pearson, a man attempting to give up smoking, and the resulting chemical imbalance that causes some interesting side effects.

See, Brandon starts being able to see certain people for who they really are, and discovers to his horror that some in positions of power (including his own boss) aren’t human at all, but are creatures labelled “batmen” who are slowly taking over the planet. And not in a Caped-Crusader sort of way. Encouraged to join a group looking to stop them, his paranoia grows.

“This was Stephen trying to deal with his cigarette jones and the fairly new no-smoking laws back in the ’90s,” Holland told Deadline back when the film was first announced. “This film will be a modernization of the original short story, a paranoid suspense piece.”

Holland, who has previously worked on King adaptations The Langoliers and Thinner, is looking to start shooting this September in New York.