Joe Hill may be Stephen King’s son, but he’s also an acclaimed genre writer in his own right, and after years of development hell, one of his biggest hits—Locke & Key, a graphic novel series created with artist Gabriel Rodriguez—has finally made it to the screen courtesy of Netflix.
The story of a mother and three kids who move to their ancestral Massachusetts mansion in the wake of their father’s murder, only to discover that the place is filled with magical keys that grant them wondrous powers—be it the ability to transform into ghosts, teleport to anywhere in the world, change their appearances, or manipulate others—it’s a wild and spooky tale about loss, memory, and coping with scarring trauma. It’s also a work that’s been surprisingly tricky to translate for television, as Hill’s saga flamed out first as a series for Fox (in 2010-2011), and then as one for Hulu (in 2017-2018, replete with a premiere helmed by It director Andy Muschietti), before arriving on Netflix last Friday.
For the 47-year-old Hill, whose novels Horns and NOS4A2 have previously received the live-action treatment, Locke & Key’s journey may have been bumpy, but it was the natural result of trying to get it right. And though it makes significant changes to his source material, the new series—spearheaded by Lost’s Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill, with a first episode co-penned by Hill—is something about which the celebrated author is excited, calling it “the most Netflix-y Netflix show that ever Netflixed.”
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