Will Stephen King’s ‘Boogeyman’ Be the Next ‘It’?

With It: Chapter Two in theaters now, horror fans are looking for the next Stephen King movie. It screenwriter Gary Dauberman is working on Salem’s Lot. CBS All Access is developing The Stand as a miniseries. Don’t forget, King wrote several collections of short stories too. A Quiet Place writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods didn’t forget. They are writing an adaptation of The Boogeyman and planning to direct it.

Pennywise in It: Chapter 2
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in It: Chapter Two | Warner Bros. Entertainment

If you want to see what “a Scott Beck and Bryan Woods” film looks like, Haunt is coming out next week. Woods and Beck spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone about Haunt yesterday and we’ll have more about their latest film next week. But first, they teased their plans to develop Stephen King’s The Boogeyman.

‘The Boogeyman’ film will add a lot to Stephen King’s story

The Boogeyman first appeared in Cavalier magazine and later Stephen King’s Night Shift collection. Night Shift stories spawned many films including Children of the Corn, Graveyard Shift and The Lawnmower Man. 

Stephen King
Stephen King | Photo by Maja Hitij/picture alliance via Getty Images

“What we loved about Boogeyman was it was a standalone story that’s 12 pages long that also left a lot of room for invention,” Beck said. “So Bryan and I would be able to come in and pay homage to the master himself, but also be able to tell an original story that hopefully has some resonance beyond just being scary, but also dive into the characters the same way that A Quiet Place did.”

Stephen King was formative to the ‘Quiet Place’ writers

Like most horror fans, Stephen King provided many of their original nightmares. Some of the films adapted from Stephen King influenced the duo as filmmakers.

Brian Woods and Scott Beck
Bryan Woods and Scott Beck attend the premiere of A Quiet Place at the Paramount Theatre during the 2018 South By Southwest Conference and Festivals|Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

“For us, the window into Boogeyman was just exciting because everybody does want their version of Stephen King,” Beck said. “There were so many Stephen King films that I watched as a kid whether it’s Cat’s Eye or Firestarter. I feel like he’s always been relevant.”

The horror films that influenced the creators of ‘A Quiet Place’

A Quiet Place instantly made Beck and Woods moguls of horror. They’d made several horror films before, and again they have Haunt coming out this week. Horror was always important to them. 

“We just kind of gravitated to dark stuff,” Woods said. “I remember watching Alfred Hitchcock movies when I was younger and falling in love with the Psycho franchise and how scary they were but also how smart they were. Another major inspiration for us in middle school, as 7th or 8th graders, we watched The Sixth Sense for the first time when that movie opened.”

John Krasinski and Noah Jupe in A Quiet Place
John Krasinski and Noah Jupe in A Quiet Place | Paramount

The Sixth Sense  was more than just a twist ending. Perhaps you can see its influence on A Quiet Place.

“That movie was really revolutionary for us because not only was it absolutely terrifying but it had just a beautiful emotional story underneath it,” Woods said. “We loved the marriage of something that was thematically articulate and emotionally moving but also really scary.”

The terrifying images that could influence ‘The Boogeyman’

The Boogeyman is about a man telling his psychiatrist about the deaths of his children, which he blames on The Boogeyman. King’s descriptions of the children’s deaths and the image of the Boogeyman could provide ample inspiration for visuals. Beck recalled the gore shots that terrified him as a young horror fan. 

“When I was about five years old, I would go visit my uncle Dwayne on the weekends with my family,” Beck began. “I remember this definitive moment where he was like, ‘Hey, I want to show you something on TV’ which sounded very ominous at the time and certainly delivered. He popped in this VHS tape that was a compilation of some of the scariest scenes from some of the scariest movies of the ‘70s and ‘80s.”

Beck didn’t even experience those movies one at a time. He got all the money shots in one dose. 

“An example of that would be the chestburster scene from Alien,” Beck said. “And then the next excerpt he had was the end of The Fly where Jeff Goldblum is sitting on John Getz’s ankles and it’s just melting away the flesh. There’s a scene from Robocop where a guy gets dipped in acid and then gets hit by the car and obliterated.”

Bryan Woods (L) and Scott Beck attend the Paramount Pictures New York Premiere of A Quiet Place | Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Woods and Beck certainly brought those images to A Quiet Place and they can do it again with The Boogeyman.

“These movies scarred me in the best way possible where I saw these horrific images that I could not unsee,” Beck continued. “I’m like, ‘oh, there’s things in movies that can provoke you in a very guttural reaction.’ Those are the movies that stuck with me and gave me my early taste of what the horror genre really could be.”