If you were wondering what the Duffer Brothers are up to next now that season four of Stranger Things has wound up, it turns out there’s a huge clue in the latest instalment.
In the latest season, the brothers paid tribute to retro pop culture with a number of references to the 70s and 80s, from Vickie channelling her inner Molly Ringwald to not one, but two references to John Carpenter’s Halloween.
However, there’s one that sticks out above all the rest, and that’s because it actually ties quite nicely into one of the Duffers’ future projects.
In one of the final scenes, we see Lucas reading to a comatose Max - with a brief shot revealing that the book is, in fact, The Talisman, Stephen King's 1984 novel about a boy who must travel to California to find a talisman that can save his dying mother’s life.
While this may suggest that season five might find the gang hunting down a similar talisman to save Max, the book also serves as another neat little Easter egg - as the story is actually one the Duffer Brothers are taking on themselves as a new project.
Anyone else catch that Stephen King The Talisman Easter egg in Stranger Things? I hear they’re still making it so it was a nice little clue! pic.twitter.com/zGJmqGtpnh— sarah (@sarahbartz85) July 3, 2022
The duo have teamed up with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Paramount Television to produce a new series based on the fantasy-horror novel.
In a recent interview with Deadline, they were asked about the new venture, with journalist Mike Fleming Jr noting the neat 'foreshadowing' of Lucas reading the book to Max.
Matt explained: "Well, if you can believe it, we’re really into Stephen King, and this was the ultimate. Our friend Curtis Gwinn, one of the main writers on Stranger Things actually asked if we’d be interested in getting involved. There was a show that he was talking with Amblin about. We were immediately excited. We loved The Talisman."
Matt said the book was 'the last great '80s Stephen King book that has not been previously adapted', because Amblin and Spielberg – who own the rights – have held on to it for so long and haven't allowed anything to happen... until now, of course.
"It’s a huge book, it’s really long and I don’t think it would ever have really worked effectively as a movie," he continued.
"Until recently, I don’t think it would have worked as television. It’s like we’re in this new era now where there’s a kind of a merging of television shows that feel and look like movies because they’re getting these pretty big budgets behind them.
"So, something like Talisman that even five years ago was not doable, is very doable now. It involves a lot of things that are very similar to Stranger Things. It’s about a kid who’s trying to save his dying mother and he travels into another dimension in order to do so. I mean, it’s much more fantasy. It has sci-fi. It has horror elements. It has a lot of heart. It has everything that we love. And it’s got the best werewolf character I think, ever."
Matt said it was 'definitely a dream project', but said they weren't sure when it would get made, as they'd only had a meeting about 'an outline for the first episode off'.
"It’s a ways off but we’re really excited about it," he said.
Ross added: "The original pitch for Stranger Things was, what if Stephen Spielberg is filming a long lost Stephen King book you’ve never read? So, how could we turn down a chance where there actually are those two guys working together?"
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