Andy Muschietti is staying in the Stephen King business.
The director – who’s sending “It: Chapter 2” into theaters on Sept. 6, concluding his two-film adaptation of the spine-tingling King novel – will next work with sister (and “It” producer) Barbara to adapt “Roadwork,” a story from deep in the Maine-based author’s back catalog.
The pair, who spoke about the project during a recent Radio Cantilo interview, said they hope to start shooting a “Roadwork” movie next year, with Argentine filmmaker Pablo Trapero (“The Clan”) directing and the pair on board as producers.
The story, which King published in 1981 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, follows an angry Midwestern man who takes up arms against local bureaucrats after a needless highway extension threatens to demolish both his house and business. It’s one of King’s lesser-known works but involves gun violence enacted by a disillusioned, mentally unstable American male, a subject mass shootings have kept consistently timely.
Red-hot off the runaway success of “It,” which made over $700 million globally to become the highest-grossing horror movie of all time, the Muschiettis have considerable clout in Hollywood; they appear keen to use it to open doors for others, like Trapero, in the burgeoning Argentine film industry. It’s not their only King project in the pipeline; the two were at one point working with Plan B Entertainment on “The Jaunt,” a sci-fi tale – published in King’s 1985 anthology “Skeleton Key” – about a family using dangerous teleportation technology to reach Mars. Muschietti planned to direct, according to Deadline.
This isn’t the first time Hollywood’s considered “Roadwork.” Around the time of the 2008 economic crisis, producer Michael De Luca (“The Social Network”) shopped the story around, even pitching Frank Darabont, who’d just adapted “The Mist” from a King novella. “I thought that story was so in the zeitgeist,” De Luca told the Globe while speaking about now-in-theaters “The Kitchen,” which he also produced.
No word yet on whether a studio is attached to distribute the Muschiettis’ take, but they have a long-standing partnership with Warner Bros., which is behind both “It” films and has Muschietti set to direct long-gestating superhero movie “The Flash.”