The Emmy winner is featured in Stephen King’s latest movie adaptation.
Starring the billionaire John Harrigan, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone follows a young boy named Craig. The kid manages to befriend Sutherland’s character because of their love for books, but unfortunately, Mr. Harrigan dies; however, his spirit lives on thanks to Craig’s iPhone in what’s being billed as a supernatural coming-of-age story. The Netflix exclusive also stars Jaeden Martell (Knives Out, It), Joe Tippett (Elementary, Mare of Eastown), and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Cruella, Silent Night). The film is helmed by John Lee Hancock, who also directed The Blind Side, The Rookie, and most recently, The Little Things.
The director of the upcoming Stephen King feature spoke to Tulum about the Netflix feature and what audiences should expect, “We had this master room; there was nothing but old technology in it. It’s more than just an aesthetic: Mr. Harrigan’s Phone may be supernatural, but in a way, it’s also a simple story about the groundbreaking introduction of the smartphone,” Hancock says. “And when they saw the movie and read the script earlier, they said, ‘Wow, that was what it was like when the iPhone 1 came out. It was earth-shattering. ‘And I go, ‘It was.’ ”
Despite sounding more of a horror chiller, Hancock explains that the film is more of a relationship story, just with a ghost and a bullied kid, “What does it mean to be a friend? And how far will you go for a friend even after you die?” Hancock asks. “Will you take down their enemies? I think it’s about friendship and technology. And in some ways, the iPhone’s the original sin.”
The feature film already has a huge fans, as Stephen King himself expressed his joy over the upcoming movie on Twitter, “I have seen a close-to-finished cut of MR. HARRIGAN’S PHONE, written and directed by John Lee Hancock, is brilliant. Donald Sutherland, Jaeden Martell. Netflix. This fall.” The famed author isn’t shy to voice his displeasure of a film that doesn’t meet his approval, with the most infamous being Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, “I think The Shining is a beautiful film and it looks terrific, and I’ve said before, it’s like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it,” King said in an interview with IndieWire. “In that sense, when it opened, a lot of the reviews weren’t very favorable, and I was one of those reviewers… I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I didn’t care for it much.”
“The movie has no heart; there’s no center to the picture, I wrote the book as a tragedy, and if it was a tragedy, it was because all the people loved each other… here, it seems there’s no tragedy because there’s nothing to be lost.” Let’s hope that Mr. King is right about his latest Netflix adaptation, as several of his recent film releases didn’t fare too well on the big screen. The features such as It and Doctor Sleep were a hit among critics and fans, but Firestarter and The Dark Tower bombed on both sides of the spectrum.
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone will be released on October 5th. Netflix has a busy month of releases as several unique properties will debut. The biggest is arguably The Midnight Club, from Mike Flanagan, who also made the excellent The Haunting of Hill House series, Midnight Mass, and Gerald’s Game, all Netflix exclusives. Other significant projects making their way onto Netflix is The Watcher, The Sinner, The School for Good and Evil, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, The Good Burse, The Curse of Bridge Hollow, and The Stranger.