How Stephen King Influenced The Netflix Adaptation Of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone


Hancock said that King was a consummate professional, and never wanted to “take over” the adaptation from him. He’d often ask King questions like, “which do you think this character would do?” to which King would say, “Whatever you think. I kind of think maybe this, but whatever you think.” He also said that King didn’t want to “intrude or have his shadow loom too large over our interpretation of his story as a movie,” recognizing that his novella and the film are two completely different mediums. “I’d send location photos and say, ‘You made this place up, in your mind’s eye, which one is the closest?’ And he would go, ‘Oh gosh. How about the one with the red canopy?’ or whatever.”

This relationship continued throughout the production, with Hancock sending King photos of locations and actors working, and believes that he really enjoyed receiving them. “You create something, and then you don’t get to visit because of a pandemic,” he said. “At least you’re seeing the photographic evidence that it’s coming together, and then it was great showing him a cut of the movie and him really loving it.” Approval from King is the dream for those who adapt his work, as the master of horror has not been shy to express when he’s less than thrilled with a final product. So while King was not making creative decisions regarding the adaptation of his story, his presence and influence was embedded throughout.

“Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” is currently available on Netflix.



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