Thinner director Tom Holland will direct the big screen adaptation of Stephen King's short story "The Ten O'clock People." Holland has not only worked with King on Thinner, but he's also worked with him on The Langoliers.
"The Ten O'clock People" showed up in King’s 1993 Nightmares And Dreamscapes. The story is set in Boston and follows a character named Brandon Pearson, "who in trying to kick his smoking habit uncovers a frightening aspect of reality that he plans to extinguish through extreme measures."
Holland went on to say in a statement that the story was inspired by King’s own struggles with quitting smoking.
This was Stephen trying to deal with his cigarette jones and the fairly new no-smoking laws back in the ’90s. This film will be a modernization of the original short story, a paranoid suspense piece.
The movie is already set to go into production this summer, and it will be Holland's first feature film as a director since Thinner, which he made in 1996. He's also worked on the Masters Of Horror series for Showtime, wrote the story for the Fright Night remake, and is writing and directing a series of shorts for FearNet called Twisted Tales.
Here's a full description of the story that contains spoilers:
The main character, Pearson, is a smoker trying hard to quit for health reasons. He discovers a horrible aspect of reality that only those attempting to quit like him are capable of seeing - that many of the people living among us in positions of power, including many police officers and political figures and even the Vice President of the United States, are in fact inhuman monsters disguised as people. A unique chemical imbalance, caused by his smoking only on his morning break (thus the reference to Ten O' Clock in the title) makes him able to see the true nature of these creatures through their disguises. When Pearson first notices one of them, a young black man named Dudley "Duke" Rhinemann stops him from screaming and calms him down.
Dudley later explains that if Pearson wants to live, he must go about his day as usual and meet him at 3 o'clock after work. Pearson does as he is told and discovers that his boss is also one of the "batmen". He leaves work a bit shaken, meets Dudley and goes to a bar with him. After explaining that smokers trying to quit are the only ones who see them, Dudley invites Pearson to a meeting of those who can see the "batmen".
Shortly after arriving, the leader of the group says he has "big news" for them all. Pearson, who already had some suspicion about the idolized leader realizes the man is stalling for time. He gives warning. The leader then says the batmen have granted them amnesty, but soon after a horde of them attack those in the meeting. Many die. Pearson, along with two others, manage to escape the meeting. The trio flee to Omaha and form a new resistance group of 'Ten O'Clock People'. This group successfully kills many 'batmen'.