Ross Duffer: Exactly.
Matt Duffer: That’s why nobody did it. The option never expired. Our friend Curtis Gwin is the head of this show, and he’s one of the writers of stranger things. He called us and he said, “Would you be interested in being involved in some way?” And we’re like, “Are you kidding?” It’s Stephen King and Steven Spielberg, and it’s about a boy who goes to another dimension not to save his friend, but to save his mother. There are so many parallels with stranger things. It’s very different in tone than stranger thingsso it’s not going to give the impression Stranger Things: Part Twobut…
Ross Duffer: …He shares a bit of DNA.
Matt Duffer: Yes, he certainly shares a lot. Originally that’s how we started stranger things, as if it were an undiscovered book by Stephen King directed by Spielberg. It was the pitch, so the fact that [The Talisman] is a Stephen King-Spielberg collaboration, participating in it is awesome.
So Curtis Gwinn writes it, but you produce it. Have you had any conversations with any of the Steves about this?
Ross Duffer: Not with Stephen King. With Spielberg, we have, yeah.
What did he tell you about why he was so passionate?
Ross Duffer: You can just see the joy he has for this story. It really comes down to the relationship with the child and his mother. That’s the emotional line of this story, and that’s what we’re trying to capture. But of course there’s an amazing werewolf character, which I think is at least one of Stephen King’s top 10 characters. Wolf is right up there. I think we’re all excited to bring this to life.
Matt Duffer: There’s a 100-page section of the book that’s like Shawshank takeover with teenagers and a werewolf, and I’m like…
Oh yeah, in that crazy religious orphanage. Sunlight house. It’s incredible.
Matt Duffer: If it’s executed as well as the writing deserves, it’s a slam dunk. Anyway, I’m excited about it. I know that’s probably pretty far. For me, just to get to the part where we choose Wolf, that’s the point. That’s make or break, Wolf’s casting. You find the right actor for this role…
King and Straub revisited Jack Sawyer, the main character of The talismanas an adult in the 2001s black house. So it’s a question you might be hesitant to answer, but: is there a part of you that thinks you’d like to see your kids again, the stranger things characters, sometimes far in the future when they are adults?
Matt Duffer: Well, I like that. I think there is potential there. I think you just have to do it for the right reason. That is why, at this moment, there is no other stranger things properties—only the stranger things Pin up. We just don’t want to do anything for the wrong reason, and we don’t want to do more seasons than there should be. It feels like five plus, and then we wait a while. And who knows what will happen with our career, what interests will draw us.