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Stephen King Had A Part To Play In Moving The Boogeyman Movie From Hulu To Theaters

CinemaBlend 08/03/2023 Eric Eisenberg
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Earlier this year, director Rob Savage's upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's The Boogeyman got some terrific news. While the film went into production with plans in place for it to be an exclusive for Hulu, it was widely reported in January that the distribution strategy had changed and that the movie was going to get a theatrical run. It was said at the time that the move was made in reaction to positive test screenings and the current big screen horror boom – but it turns out that the author of the source material also had a role to play in the decision.

With filmmakers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods on the ReelBlend podcast this week promoting their new film 65, the hosts took the opportunity to ask about their work on The Boogeyman (on which they are credited as screenwriters and producers). CinemaBlend's Sean O'Connell inquired about what happened behind the scenes that moved the movie from streaming to theaters, and Woods broke it down from the beginning. He explained, 

As Woods continued, he explained how both test screening audiences and Stephen King forced executives at 20th Century Studios to rethink the decision to make The Boogeyman a Hulu exclusive: 

Having spent the last half century seeing adaptations of his work going to both the big screen and the small screen, Stephen King is a voice worth listening to when it comes to properly scaring an audience, and thankfully The Boogeyman will be getting the opportunity to freak out big crowds this summer.

Not only has King been advocating for the film behind the scenes, he's been doing it in public as well – posting about the movie in advance of its trailer drop back in late January. And speaking of which, you can watch the Boogeyman first look below:

Watching that trailer, you may have noticed the familiar face of David Dastmalchian, who has a key role to play in the movie. The adaptation of The Boogeyman appears to stray pretty far from Stephen King's short story, but Dastmalchian's character is what directly links the two together: the actor is playing Lester Billings, the protagonist of the source material.

Scott Beck spoke with ReelBlend about the process of adapting the Stephen King short story, noting that there really isn't enough in what King originally wrote to fit a feature film. Said Beck,

Rather than being about the plight of Lester Billings, The Boogeyman movie will primarily focus on his psychiatrist, played by Chris Messina, and the psychiatrist's two daughters, played by Sophie Thatcher and Vivien Lyra Blair. All that being said, Scott Beck emphasized that Lester still has an important role to play. Said the filmmaker,

There is still a lot about The Boogeyman that is being maintained as a mystery, and that definitely only has us more excited for the film's theatrical release. Look for the movie in cinemas near you on June 2.

Check out our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide to learn about all of the projects based on King's works that are in development, and read my Adapting Stephen King column to learn about the extensive history of King adaptations, going back to Carrie in 1976.

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