One of the best horror comic books ever created was Locke & Key, the brilliant story written by Joe Hill and illustrated by the amazing Gabriel Rodriguez. This comic book series, if nothing else, has proven that Joe Hill is much, much more than just the son of Stephen King and has taken steps into becoming one of the most talented storytellers working in the business today.
That meant that, when the rumors of a Locke & Key television series kicked up a while back, I got excited. A pilot was made, and word is that it was fantastic. Then, inexplicably, Fox chose to pass on the Locke & Key television project despite the solid pilot. I was dumbfounded and things just moved on.
Now, in an interview with Collider, Joe Hill has explained why Fox passed on the Locke & Key television series.
“In some ways, the really frustrating part is the sense that Fox passed on it because it was too scary, and yet meanwhile, at the exact same time, their sister channel FX was preparing to release American Horror Story, which is now a huge thing for them,” Hill said. “It’s nothing against American Horror Story, but I do wish ours had been on. We came close. We had a pilot that people liked, and the success of American Horror Story suggests that maybe Locke & Key also could have been successful. But, it’s very tough to get a TV show on.”
Wow, that is very frustrating. American Horror Story is a good show and the fact that it is an anthology series means that the creators can reboot every season and bring in different fans based on the themes. They have dealt with ghosts, mental illness, witches and now carnies, and the results have varied. However, with Locke & Key, Fox had a chance for a really solid story about family and how the sins of the fathers re-visits the children. If any comic book was made for television, it was Locke & Key.
Look, TV shows like Supernatural, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story have proven that audiences want to watch horror television series. With Locke & Key, you actually have something that shows like Supernatural and The Walking Dead don’t have – a beginning, a middle and an end. Maybe that is the problem – a television show can easily be cancelled, and starting something that has a guaranteed ending and a mystery trying together the various seasons is a gamble.
Fox didn’t want to take that gamble, and we as an audience, have to pay the price by not getting to see this amazing story play out on TV.
However, that does not mean that there is no hope.
In the same interview, Joe Hill talked about the in-development movie for Locke & Key. This is a story that could play out as one single movie, but to really make its fans happy and to do it right, it needs more than that. That is why Alex Kurtzman (Star Wars, Amazing Spider-Man) wants to turn this into a trilogy of movies. That could be perfect to tell this story, and there is no reason this story can’t be a successful franchise.
“I think that Alex really wants to do it,” Hill told Collider. “I would never bet against Alex Kurtzman’s tenacity. The last time I talked to Alex, they had a massive chunk of screenplay that they really liked, for the first movie. That doesn’t mean there’s ever going to be a movie. I don’t believe in anything, until they’re actually rolling the cameras. But, I think it would be a mistake to bet against it.”
And for fans who wondered if the success or failure of Horns this weekend will help or hurt Locke & Key, Hill says he doesn’t believe it will have anything to do with it. Hill said that Kurtzman will face the same problems in getting the movies made regardless of how the upcoming adaptation of his novel does at the box office. Fans will just have to keep their fingers crossed.
If you do want to continue to support the work of Joe Hill, the adaptation of his novel Horns is in theaters now in a very limited opening release. You can also pick up his books at Amazon by using this link.