Another week, another Stephen King adaptation. This time, James Wan is teaming with Gary Dauberman to bring Salem’s Lot to the big screen for the first time ever, courtesy of New Line.
First published in 1975, Salem’s Lot follows an author who returns to his small hometown in order to write about an abandoned mansion, only to discover that its new European owner may having something to do with the locals turning into vampires.
Wan will produce alongside Roy Lee and Mark Wolper, while Dauberman will serve as an executive producer and write the script. The book was previously adapted as a 1979 miniseries that spawned a 1987 sequel titled Return to Salem’s Lot. TNT produced its own miniseries in 2004 starring Rob Lowe as the author.
When it comes to horror, you have to stay a few years ahead of the trends, and Salem’s Lot seems like a smart play for New Line, as it’s been a while since a vampire movie has staked out the top spot at the box office. I can see bloodsuckers making a Hollywood comeback soon, and King’s novel is a great piece of I.P. to control when that moment inevitably arrives.
Neither Wan nor Dauberman are attached to direct Salem’s Lot at this stage, but that could, of course, change. Wan is a prolific genre director with credits like Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring, while Dauberman recently made his feature directorial debut with Annabelle Comes Home, the third film in the Annabelle franchise, which is itself a spinoff from the Conjuring universe. Dauberman also wrote The Nun and worked on both of New Line’s It movies. Wan, for his part, has yet to decide on his follow-up to Aquaman, which grossed over $1 billion for Warner Bros.
Wan and Dauberman recently produced The Curse of La Llorona, which opened to nearly $27 million last weekend, and they’re also partnered on the DC Universe series Swamp Thing. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news about the new Salem’s Lot.