EXCLUSIVE: Hot on the heels of the record opening of the film adaptation of his novel It, Stephen King’s short story Suffer the Little Children is being adapted into a feature film by writer-director Sean Carter. Craig Flores, Nicolas Chartier and Sriram Das will produce the picture.

Suffer the Little Children is a supernatural thriller that centers on a recently divorced first-grade schoolteacher who notices some “unsettling” traits in the children in her class: flashes of a bizarre texture lurking underneath their skin and a chilling, conspiratorial secrecy to the way they play together. And now, people in her new town are dying mysteriously. Is this all just paranoia, or is something more disturbing happening to the children in this town? This story was published as collection part of a short stories in King’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes.

Sean Carter

Carter just completed his first feature film, the horror-thriller Keep Watching. The film stars Bella Thorne, Natalie Martinez, Ioan Gruffudd and Chandler Riggs, with Sony’s Screen Gems releasing. Carter received a filmmaking grant from Martin Scorsese, and his most recent short, Culebra, premiered at Slamdance before playing other festivals.

If there is a premium on Stephen King content following the outsized It grosses, producer Flores is in good shape at his Bread & Circuses Entertainment banner. He’s concurrently producing an adaptation of the King novel Rose Madder and has Assaf Bernstein set to direct it. Bernstein directed the first season of the Israeli TV series Fauda, which became a sensation for Netflix.

“Stephen King’s is one of today’s most prolific storytellers, and the concepts that he conjures immediately spark curiosity and a desire to follow him down the rabbit hole,” Flores said.

Said Carter: “The Stephen King aesthetic has been imprinted into my psyche since I was a teenager, and Suffer the Little Children fits right into that classic King paradigm: a tragically flawed lead character put into a shockingly unimaginable scenario. It’s a tiny peek into a mythology that I can’t wait to expand into a full-length movie.”

The pic is a co-production of Flores’ Bread & Circuses banner, Chartier’s Voltage Pictures and Sriram Das’ Das Films. JJ Meyers of Das Films also will be a co-producer.

Carter is repped by Verve and managed by Kaplan/Perrone. King is with Paradigm and attorney Harold Brown.