MGM has found its two leads for an upcoming adaptation of Norman Partridge’s 2007 horror novel, Dark Harvest, which won the Bram Stoker Award in 2006 in the Long Fiction category.
According to Deadline, the film will star Casey Likes (The Birch, Krampus: Origins) and E’myri Crutchfield (Fargo, True Detective), who’ll be directed by American Gods and Hannibal executive producer and director David Slade.
Partridge’s novel is set in an anonymous midwestern town that has an unusual rite of passage: it locks up the town’s male teenagers and after five days, releases them into the streets armed to the teeth. They race to confront a supernatural presence known as October Boy—a specter that rises each year from the cornfields. One, Pete McCormick, sees the rite as his one chance to escape from the town and, in doing so, uncovers the horrifying truth behind the story.
From Deadline’s report about the film, it looks as though there will be some changes from the original novel: The film will follow a boy named Richie Shepard, whose brother won the rite last year, and this year, he’s teaming up with a young woman named Kelly Haines, who’s also trying to escape from their small town existence.
The project was first announced back in 2019, revealing that Slade was onboard as director, and that Michael Gilio (who penned the first draft of the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons film) would be writing the screenplay. MGM scooped up the film in 2020, and set a release date for September 24th, 2021, although those plans seem to have been scuttled by COVID-19: Deadline now reports that the film is set to begin shooting in August for a September 2022 release date.