King’s short story “The Boogeyman” was first published in 1973, predating his first novel, Carrie, by more than a year. Fast forward half a century and Hulu is planning to release a full-length movie adaptation of “The Boogeyman” in 2023. A brand new adaptation is always exciting news for fans of King, so here is everything we know so far about The Boogeyman.
The horror film is an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1978 short story of the same name. King’s stories have a proven track record of success when it comes to their big-screen adaptations, with some of the more notable ones including Carrie, The Shining, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, and It. While “The Boogeyman” may not be as well known as the others, it still has the potential for success.
The project was initially announced in 2018, with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods co-writing the screenplay. Beck and Woods have been filmmaking partners for a while now, co-writing and executive producing films such as A Quiet Place, and writing and directing Haunt for producer Eli Roth.
Production came to a halt when the film was canceled in 2019, following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox. The project was brought back in 2021, with Rob Savage set to direct. Savage is best known for directing the 2020 Shudder original film, Host. The screenplay will be written by Mark Heyman (Black Swan), based on the original screenplay written by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods.
Shawn Levy, the founder of the production company 21 Laps Entertainment, will co-produce alongside Dan Levine and Dan Cohen.
The Boogeyman: The Plot
As mentioned, the storyline is based on the Stephen King short story “The Boogeyman.” We have a logline of where we can expect the film to take the familiar story:
The film from director Rob Savage (Dashcam, Host) follows a 16-year-old and her younger sister, still reeling from the death of their mother, as they’re targeted by a supernatural boogeyman, after their psychologist father has an encounter with a desperate patient in their house.Synopsis according to Deadline
Specific plot details are under wraps, but the above story description was published by Deadline in February 2022. Judging by what little information there is, The Boogeyman sounds like it is either a reimagining of King’s original story, or it is an extension of it.
The short story “The Boogeyman”
The short story follows a man named Lester Billings who is currently seeing a psychiatrist due to his belief that “The Boogeyman” is terrorizing him by killing all three of his children.
Each of their deaths was surrounded by similarly mysterious factors. The man tells his psychiatrist, Dr. Harper, that each of his children had all cried out “Boogeyman” as they were being put to bed on the different nights of their deaths. He swears that the closet doors in their rooms were closed, but upon discovering their bodies, the closet doors were always open. Even though their official causes of death were considered “crib death,” and “convulsion,” he believes that The Boogeyman was the real cause.
After the deaths of his first two children, Lester and his wife move to another town far away. His wife quickly becomes pregnant, and the two take extra precautions to protect their new child, Andy. However, she is called away to help an ill family member, leaving the man alone with their young child. In her absence, he feels The Boogeyman’s presence growing bolder and more aggressive, and fears for his life. He places Andy in a separate bedroom for the first time since his birth, knowing that the creature will go after him.
When he hears a commotion and goes to investigate, he finds The Boogeyman attacking his son and flees. The police determine that Andy attempted to climb out of his crib and broke his neck, but Lester knows better. As he leaves, Dr. Harper suggests that he schedule a future appointment. Lester returns to the doctor’s office shortly after with a question to find The Boogeyman there, removing his “Dr. Harper” disguise.
That is the gist of the original Stephen King short story, but the plot for the film adaptation seems to have some major differences. The perspective in the adaptation seems to be from the viewpoint of the children. After the sudden and tragic death of their mother, a teenage girl and her younger sister struggle to convince their grieving father to take action as they believe their house has become infested by a malevolent entity.
The Boogeyman is tormenting this struggling family, feeding off of their pain and fear, and quite possibly could have caused the death of the mother.
The Boogeyman: The Cast
The Boogeyman cast will be led by Chris Messina and Sophie Thatcher. Messina recently appeared in Starz’s Gaslit, while Thatcher is known for roles in Yellowjackets and The Book of Boba Fett. While we don’t yet know who they will be playing, it is possible that Messina is playing the father and Thatcher one of the children, given that they were cast first and we know the approximate ages of the lead characters.
Messina and Thatcher will be joined by David Dastmalchian. He is best known for supporting roles in several superhero franchises, including the MCU, DCU, and The CW’s Arrowverse. Actress Marin Ireland from The Umbrella Academy is set to appear, as is Vivian Lyra Blair, who portrayed a young Leia Organa in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi. Rounding out the cast is actress Madison Hu, best known for her role in the Disney Channel comedy Bizaardvark – a show perhaps better remembered today for launching the careers of Jake Paul and Olivia Rodrigo.
We know these stars are appearing in the film, but any information about potential roles remains unknown. We can expect additional cast information, as well as confirmation of existing roles, to be revealed as production continues.
When Does The Boogeyman Come Out?
The Boogeyman will stream in January 2023 as an Original film on Disney’s direct-to-consumer platforms, on Hulu in the US, Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ under the Star banner in all other territories.