The Latest Stephen King Horror Movie Has A Killer Cast And Director

A Stephen King horror story about a malevolent (sort of) doll almost sounds like something that could've been written specifically for James Wan to turn into a movie. But while the filmmaker behind "Saw," "Insidious," "The Conjuring," and "Malignant" is indeed involved in adapting "The Monkey" — a short story King wrote for Gallery magazine in 1980 before later including it in his 1985 collection "Skeleton Crew" — for the screen, he's only lending his services as a producer.

Instead, "The Monkey" is being written and directed by Osgood "Oz" Perkins, son of "Psycho" actor Anthony Perkins and the mind behind such creepily atmospheric and inventively stylized horror pictures as "The Blackcoat's Daughter," "I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House," and "Gretel & Hansel" (an almost phantasmagorical, subversive re-interpretation of the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale that was tragically released to little fanfare right before the 2020 lockdowns). Osgood Perkins is also currently riding high thanks to the buzz around "Longlegs," his upcoming occult serial killer horror-thriller that boasts one of the most intriguing trailers in recent memory. That's all the more reason to pay attention to "The Monkey," a film that Black Bear launched on the Cannes market back in 2023 and was quick to draw attention to itself. Now, Deadline is reporting the project has wrapped production after assembling quite the killer cast.

Don't monkey around in Stephen King's attic

What do Theo James ("The White Lotus"), Tatiana Maslany (she of "Orphan Black" and "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" fame), Elijah Wood (who apparently starred in some fantasy movie series about wizards or something), Christian Convery (aka the adorable deer-boy Gus from "Sweet Tooth"), Colin O'Brien ("Wonka"), Rohan Campbell ("The Hardy Boys"), and Sarah Levy ("Schitt's Creek") have in common? They're all starring in "The Monkey," with Wan producing alongside his Atomic Monster partner Michael Clear ("M3GAN"). Wood's involvement, in particular, is worth noting as he's appeared in some truly wild horror features (like Franck Khalfoun's "Maniac" and "Cooties") since he dropped off the One Ring in Mordor.

"The Monkey" itself centers on young twin brothers Hal and Bill (Convery) who stumble upon an old monkey toy — in King's original short story, it's a cymbal-banging monkey toy much like the one who terrorizes Woody and the gang in "Toy Story 3" — that seems to cause a series of grisly deaths. Years later as adults (now played by James), Hal and Bill are forced to confront their dark pasts when that sinister primate seemingly starts killing once again. It's not widely considered one of King's best works and the horror maestro even ripped himself off with his similar premise for the "X-Files" episode "Chinga" (although Chris Carter apparently ended up rewriting most of King's script draft, which surely colored the final product), but with Perkins calling the shots (plus that cast), it may yet prove to be more than your run-of-the-mill Stephen King adaptation.

"The Monkey" has yet to receive a release date. Meanwhile, "Longlegs" opens in theaters on July 12, 2024.