It’s been a very good year for Alex Ross Perry, who broke through into indie mainstream with Her Smell, an anxiety-inducing psycho-drama starring Elisabeth Moss as the troubled leader of an all-girl rock band. Back in April, we learned that Perry’s next project would be an adaptation of the Stephen King short story Rest Stop, but according to a new report from Deadline, it seems the filmmaker has turned his attention to another King adaptation: The Dark Half. The 1989 novel centers on an author whose primary works are overshadowed by the more successful and violent stories he writes under a pseudonym. After his pseudonym is discovered, the author and his wife hold a funeral for the alter ego, which rises from the grave and begins murdering everyone in the author’s orbit. The Dark Half was loosely based on King’s own experiences having his pseudonym, Richard Bachman—author of Thinner, The Long Walk, and The Running Man—publicly outed.
King’s 1989 novel, which was previously adapted into a 1993 horror film directed by George Romero, certainly deals in the same psychological territory as recent Perry films like Her Smell and Queen Of Earth—both of which feature phenomenal performances by Elisabeth Moss. According to Deadline, Perry’s adaptation is a “reinvention” of King’s novel, which could mean any number of things. Is Perry gender-swapping the protagonist (perhaps casting Moss and thus delivering a thematic trilogy of sorts), or is he planning a more meta take in keeping with the story’s origins? Maybe he’ll ditch this idea in a few months and decide to adapt Rose Madder instead (and honestly, that would also be okay).