"All I've ever wanted to do is direct horror films in Montreal for the rest of my life. That is the endgame. That is the ultimate motivation. Everything I do is an effort to get to that point." Thus spake Jay Baruchel back in 2010, and while the intervening three years haven't yet seen him realise that ambition, he's at least somewhere in its ballpark this morning. The news is that Baruchel will act as an exec-producer as well as the star of screenwriter Tom Holland's Montreal-based Stephen King adaptation The Ten O'Clock People.
The Ten O'Clock People of the title are smokers who congregate for a quick wheeze at the same time every morning outside the revolving doors of their place of work (the First Mercantile financial corporation). Baruchel will play Brand Pearson, who's gradually cutting back on the Marlboros and finds the resultant chemical imbalance in his system allows him to see "bat men" all around him: a They Live-like conspiracy of disguised vampire things occupying powerful positions everywhere from the corporate world to the White House.
Pearson and his similarly awakened cohorts form a fragile resistance, realising that, as with quitting the gaspers, starting small is at least something. King was inspired to write the fevered story when he himself was in the midst of giving up. It can be found in the Nightmares And Dreamscapes short story collection, which also gave us The Night Flier and Dolan's Cadillac. The bat men went on to become the Can-toi of King's Dark Tower sequence.
Tom Holland (not to be confused with The Impossible star of the same name, nor the popular historian, nor the similarly-named Pirates Of The Caribbean star Tom Hollander) wrote and directed the original Fright Night and Child's Play films, and this is by no means his first brush with King: he previously made The Langoliers and Thinner, and appeared as an actor in TV mini-series The Stand. He's been working on The Ten O'Clock People for at least eighteen months already, and there was initial talk of Justin Long and Rachel Nichols heading the cast. There's no mention of them anymore, but the film is currently up for deals at the European Film Market in Berlin.
We'll next see Baruchel in the Robocop remake, which is out today.