Neon Wins U.S. Rights for Stephen King's ‘The Monkey’ Starring Theo James

A new Stephen King adaptation promises thrilling horror

by Zain ul Abedin
Neon Wins U.S. Rights for Stephen King's ‘The Monkey’ Starring Theo James
© Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Following a competitive bidding war, the highly anticipated horror film "The Monkey," an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, is set to be distributed domestically by Neon. The deal, made at the Cannes market, marks a significant acquisition for Neon, which secured the rights after a new promo generated intense interest.

The star-studded cast includes Theo James, known for his role in "The White Lotus," Tatiana Maslany from "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law," Elijah Wood of "The Lord of the Rings" fame, Christian Convery from "Sweet Tooth," Colin O’Brien who will appear in "Wonka," Rohan Campbell from "The Hardy Boys," and Sarah Levy of "Schitt’s Creek." Osgood Perkins, who directed "Longlegs," helms this project and has also adapted the screenplay from King’s story.

The plot centers on twin brothers Hal and Bill, who discover their father's old monkey toy in the attic, leading to a series of gruesome deaths. Attempting to rid themselves of the cursed toy, they grow apart over the years.

However, the deaths resume, forcing them to reunite and destroy the monkey for good before it claims more lives. Theo James portrays the twins in their later years, while Christian Convery plays their younger selves.

Production Powerhouses Unite

Produced by genre maestro James Wan, known for "The Conjuring" universe and the "Saw" and "Insidious" franchises, the film wrapped up shooting this spring.

Wan is joined by Michael Clear (M3GAN) for Atomic Monster, Dave Caplan (Babylon) for C2 Motion Picture Group, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Insidious) for Range Select, and Chris Ferguson (Child’s Play) for Odd Fellows. The executive producers include Fred Berger from Range, Peter Luo and Nancy Xu from Stars Collective, and John Friedberg from Black Bear, who also handles international sales rights.

C2 financed the film. The deal, reportedly in the high seven figures, was negotiated by Neon's CFO Ryan Friscia, SVP of Business and Legal Affairs Emily Thomas, and VP of Acquisitions and Production Jason Wald, with representation from CAA Media Finance, UTA Independent Film Group, and Range Select on behalf of the filmmakers.

This acquisition reunites Neon with director Osgood Perkins, who also directed the Nicolas Cage starrer "Longlegs," set for release this summer. Additionally, Neon is at Cannes with Perkins’ upcoming thriller "Keeper." Notably, Neon has acquired the last four Palme d’Or winners, raising anticipation for its next moves at this year’s festival, especially regarding their title "Anora," which could make it five consecutive wins.

Stephen King