I know lots of people are heeeyuge Stephen King fans. One would think that I fall squarely into that camp, however, for some reason I missed the Stephen King boat. It’s not that I don’t like him, actually what I have read by him (his short stories, The Gunslinger series, and his book on writing) I’ve really enjoyed.
It’s just that, well, there is no excuse really. His oeuvre is massive and it’s difficult to jump into the King pool when he seemingly writes a new book every six-months. Still, I’ve watched the movies based on his books and have enjoyed them a lot, even the crappy made for television movies.
So where should I begin? Some suggest The Stand, but it’s nearly 1,000 pages. Others have suggested The Talisman, a book he wrote with Peter Straub. A Canadian filmmaker named Mathieu Ratthe has loved that book so much he’s been dying to make it into a movie.
But the movie rights for The Talisman were bought by Steven Spielberg back in 1984 and he has never really made a move to direct or produce a film version of that story. So what’s a Canadian filmmaker to do? He ponies up some funding and puts together a four-minute scene from the movie in hopes of attracting attention.
“My main objective for creating this piece,” Ratthe says “is to demonstrate my directing ability and my vision to the producers who own the rights to the story: STEVEN SPIELBERG & KATHLEEN KENNEDY.”
And attention he’s got. For a low budget effort, this is pretty good. He called in some favors and was able to get actor Cameron Bright (Birth, X-Men: Last Stand) to play the lead and even got an FX company that worked on 300 to do the effects.
Several efforts have been made to make this a movie, most recently in 2003 by screenwriter Ehren Kruger, but most who have read that script thought it was shoddy. TNT was going to make a six-part miniseries based on a retooled version of Kruger’s script, but that was scrapped due to budgetary concerns.
It’s doubtful if this will get the filmmaker a meeting, but if there is justice or karma or whatever makes the world go round, Ratthe will be rewarded for his efforts here.
Should Spielberg take a chance on an unknown filmmaker? Sometimes passion is all it takes. Well, passion and talent. You have to have talent. Based on his other film, Mathieu Ratthe has some good chops, as they say.
The Talisman tells the story of a twelve years old kid who must go on a fantastic quest in search of the Talisman, in order to save his dying mother. I should also say that Whitney was the first to find this story and since then it’s simply blown up appearing on just about every major movie website. Thanks Whit!