The series adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel’s graphic novel Locke & Key refuses to die. After Fox passed on the pilot written by Josh Friedman and directed by Mark Romanek, the companies behind it, 20th Century Fox, K/O Paper Products and DreamWorks TV, shopped it to other networks, with Syfy expressing interest but ultimately passing. The studio, faced with mounting costs of keeping the production alive, decided to pull the plug on the thriller, letting the actors’ options to expire on June 30 while signing Friedman in an overall deal. (Friedman has already set up a new project at Fox with a put pilot commitment.) Then IDW, the publisher of the Locke & Key comic, organized a screening of the pilot at Comic-Con in July, followed by a panel discussion with executive producers Friedman, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. And last month, a trailer for the show, presumably cut by Fox in the run-up to the upfronts, leaked online and went viral (video below). Also last month, a DVD of the pilot was given to MTV programming chief David Janollari. I hear he liked it but is yet to meet with the Locke & Key producers, so there has been no real conversation between the two sides. A supernatural thriller would be a major departure for MTV whose current scripted slate consists primarily of high school shows. And many caution that the budget to mount a Locke & Key TV adaptation is likely to be prohibitive for a basic cable network as evident by Syfy’s decision not to pursue the project after crunching the numbers.
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