Tobe Hooper To Direct Buick 8
Based on the Stephen King novel
When Empire was lucky enough to visit the set of Frank Darabont’s The Mist back in March of this year, we were surprised to see that actor Jonathan Schaech – perhaps best known for his turn in Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do! – was also there, hanging around like a crazed King fanboy.
Turned out that Schaech – a thoroughly nice guy, and huge Stephen King nut – was a friend of Darabont’s, soaking up the vibes of a Stephen King movie. But this wasn’t mere indulgence on his part – because he told Empire that he had an ulterior motive: he had just undergone something of a career reinvention by co-writing the script for From A Buick 8, adapted from one of King’s better post-accident novels.
Schaech also told us that Tobe Hooper had replaced George A. Romero in the director’s chair on the movie, which will concern a state trooper who becomes obsessed with a mysterious Buick 8 that’s stored in his police barracks, and which seems to possess otherworldly powers.
However, Schaech asked us to keep schtum about the project; we did, and heard no more about it until today, when Variety confirmed that the project was firmly on track, with Hooper on board, and Schaech confirmed as co-writer, along with Richard Chizmar (who was also on set).
At first glance, this might seem like Christine Mk II, but the origins of this particular car are much more alien, with links to King’s Dark Tower series, while the tone of the novel is more reflective and emotional than scary or gory (although there are sequences that are pure King).
We can’t say that we’re unconcerned about the hiring of Hooper as director. The guy hasn’t made a good movie since Poltergeist, including his own King adaptation, The Mangler, and it’s entirely likely that Buick 8 will head straight to DVD, like most of his current projects. But conventional wisdom has it that he’s got to pull out of his career slump at some point, and what better way to do that with From A Buick 8?
As for Schaech, he’s got two other scripts co-written with Chizmar in development – The Hour Before Dark, and Black House, a version of the King/Peter Straub Talisman sequel. He’s also playing the killer in the upcoming remake of Prom Night.