The later period novels of Stephen King have been marked with an overblown quality, as well as a tortured attempt to link them all together in a fairly lame mythology. While he’s gone back and included many of his older books in that mythology, he really began going down that road with The Talisman, which he cowrote with Peter Straub. I don’t know if it was because King was younger and still an interesting writer of if it was because of Straub’s influence, but The Talisman is one of King’s better novels, and easily his best fantasy book. Taking its cue from classic youth adventure books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Talisman is an often wonderful cross-country – and cross-dimension – journey that feels real and emotional.
The book sprawls, so it’s tailor-made for the mini-series treatment, which TNT will be giving it. They’re reteaming with Dreamworks Television and Spielberg (who worked with the channel on the not always great, but rarely cheap looking Into the West) to make the six hour show. Ehren Kruger, genius behind Skeleton Key, The Ring and The Brothers Grimm will be writing.
The show will air in the summer of 2008, and there’s no announcement of casting or anything yet – which is where you come in. Which role is best for Bruce Cambell? Could Jason Statham play Wolf? Surely there’s a spot for James Marsters, best known as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I guess we’re all assuming for the time being that Mick Garris is directing.