Eli Roth, who will direct the feature-film version of Stephen King's best-seller Cell, told SCI FI Wire that he won the endorsement of the famously finicky author for his version of the story. "My first question when I adapted it was can I deviate from the book?" Roth said in an interview in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 25 while promoting Grindhouse, in which he has a small part. "It's Stephen King. Am I going to piss off Stephen King? He was mad at Stanley Kubrick [who adapted King's The Shining], I don't want him mad at me. And, finally, Stephen King was like, 'Do whatever you want.'"
Roth (Hostel) and writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are now writing the script for Cell, based on King's apocalyptic book in which a mysterious cell phone "pulse" drives some people insane all over the world, turning them into ravening killers.
Roth said that he would necessarily change elements of King's book, while maintaining other elements. "I love the opening [scene]," Roth said. "But I also want to keep, ... not necessarily that same chaotic tone, but I want to keep the tension of the opening 40 pages of the book going throughout the whole film and introduce other elements. Because I think the book, for me, where it loses tension is where suddenly you don't feel like the phone crazies are trying to kill them. ... I find that it's finding other ways to make it so you still feel the tension that any second you could get killed [and] carrying that throughout the whole film."
Roth, a native of Boston, added that he hopes to shoot the movie in that city, where it is set. And he'd even like to persuade King to make a cameo in the movie, which Roth will begin after he wraps the upcoming sequel Hostel 2.
"If he'd like to, sure," Roth said of a King cameo. "There's always room. That's the good thing about Cell. Because it's like crazy people running around trying to [kill you] It's like everybody gets a cameo."
Thanks to Bev Vincent