EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox is finalizing a deal for The Boogeyman, a pitch package for a horror film that teams an iconic Stephen King short story with Scott Beck & Bryan Woods, the scribes behind the genre hit A Quiet Place. 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy Dan Levine and Dan Cohen are producing.

Stephen King
Rex/Shutterstock

King’s short story was first published in 1973 and later released as part of his 1978 Night Shift collection. The Boogeyman follows a man who recently lost all his children to a creature lurking in the closet. It becomes the latest King fiction to get an option for film or TV treatment, a pace accelerated after the outsized success of It.

The Boogeyman has been a favorite of short filmmakers; it has been adapted into shorts seven times, in what King calls “dollar baby deals,” non-commercial and non-exclusive rights options that allow emerging filmmakers access to material they could never afford if they were paying retail. The Fox and 21 Laps deal will be the first studio feature adaptation for the short story.

Scott Beck Bryan Woods
Michael Buckner/Deadline

It’s not a surprise that King would spark to Beck & Woods. King called A Quiet Place “an extraordinary piece of work” in a tweet. The scribes shared scripting credit with director and star John Krasinski on a genre film that was a critical and financial hit, grossing over $325 million worldwide on a $17M budget. A sequel is in the works at Paramount.

Beck & Woods separately wrote and directed Haunt, which is in post-production. They will be executive producers of The Boogeyman with Madhouse Entertainment’s Robyn Meisinger, Adam Kolbrenner and Ryan Cunningham. JR Young will oversee for the studio.

This marks another high-profile genre project for 21 Laps, which is in production on the third season of the Netflix hit Stranger Things. Their Fox sci-fi film The Darkest Minds and Lionsgate thriller Kin will be released this summer.

King is repped by Paradigm and Gang, Tyre; Beck & Woods are repped by ICM Partners, Madhouse & Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; 21 Laps is repped by WME & Ziffren/Brittenham and Madhouse is Myman, Greenspan.