EXCLUSIVE: Plan B has optioned feature rights to The Jaunt, the 1981 Stephen King short story about teleportation travel. The company has attached Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti, the duo behind the 2013 horror film Mama. It’s early days, but this will be developed for Andy to direct. Plan B hasn’t set it with a studio yet, but principals Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner have a first-look deal with New Regency and RatPac Entertainment.
King first published the short story in Twilight Zone Magazine, but gained prominence in his short-story anthology Skeleton Crew, published in 1985. It’s a futuristic tale that takes place in the 24th century, as a father explains the ground rules for “Jaunting,” a form of teleportation the family will be using shortly to go to Mars. The key is that travelers must be under anesthesia for the short journey, or terrible things happen to the mind of those being jaunted around the solar system. Time stands still and one’s brain implodes with too much time to think in an absence of external stimulation. Bad things happen.
Expect good things to happen fast on this one. As is his usual practice, King grants a 90-day option period for $1, contingent on a writer being set, and concrete moves made in development at a pace that shows the author knows the film company is serious.
King has as much percolating right now as probably any time in his long career of having his great works of fiction turned into films and TV. 11/22/63 is with JJ Abrams and Warner Bros TV, with James Franco set to star; MRC has The Dark Tower, with Ron Howard directing and Akiva Goldsman writing, and Brian Grazer producing with Goldsman, Howard and King; Joyland is at TNT with Bill Haber; Mr. Mercedes is with David E. Kelley, Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, Jack Bender and Sonar; Under The Dome is at CBS, with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks TV; and The Things They Left Behind is with Greg Berlanti, Warner Bros TV and CBS.
Paradigm reps King and WME reps the Muschiettis.