Mark Romanek to Direct ‘Locke & Key’ TV Pilot


Mark Romanek, director of One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go, is shooting the pilot for “Locke & Key,” an adaptation of the comic book for a possible television series at Fox.

Romanek, who started by directing music videos like Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” cover, and Michael Jackson’s uber-expensive “Scream,” brings even more clout to the spooky, supernatural show.  According to Deadline, the pilot is being produced by Steven Spielberg and the Star Trek/Transformers writing partners Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci.  The comic was created by Joe Hill, Stephen King’s son.

The pilot episode tells the story of Nina Locke (played by Miranda Otto) and her three children, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bodie as they recover from the murder of their husband/father, Rendell.  In order to  rebuild their lives, the Lockes move into Keyhouse, a family mansion passed down through generations with mysterious powers.

Spanning the first six issues of the comic, the pilot script by Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) is fantastic, especially the interplay between the family members, and establishes an eerie, often disturbing tone loaded with violence, ghosts, and a strong supernatural temptress.

Romanek is a master of moods, and if the pilot script exudes anything it’s that dark, uneasy feeling he directed perfectly in Photo, particularly Robin William’s creepy, chilling performance.  But how will that sort of material play to Fox’s mainstream audience?  Will the notoriously finicky network give this a chance?

Either way, judging from the talent assembled, this is a pilot you won’t want to miss.

(Fun fact: Romanek also directed those famous silhouette iPod commercials for Apple.)