Netflix is adding even more stars to its adaptation of Stephen King’s Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. Deadline reports that Kirby Howell-Baptiste has joined the adaptation of King’s 2020 short story, alongside Donald Sutherland and the recently announced Joe Tippett. The actress, who is also set to play Death in the streamer’s upcoming adaptation of The Sandman, boards the project to play Ms. Hart, the caring and concerned teacher of young Craig (Jaeden Martell), the film’s protagonist.
Directed by John Lee Hancock, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone follows young Craig as he befriends an old and reclusive billionaire (Sutherland), bonding over books and an iPhone purchased to bring the older man into the twenty-first century. But, when Mr. Harrigan passes away, Craig quickly discovers that “dead” does not necessarily mean “gone” when he finds himself able to communicate with his deceased friend through the iPhone, which was buried with him.
Howell-Baptiste joins the project fresh off her turn in Disney’s Cruella, playing the equally kind and caring Anita Darling, and ahead of her appearance in Silent Night with Keira Knightley. The SAG Award nominee will be playing doubles with Netflix, boarding Mr. Harrigan’s Phone as the premiere date of The Sandman, adapted from the DC Comics by Neil Gaiman, slowly approaches.
This new adaptation of King’s recent work, taken from the four-story collection If It Bleeds, is one of several King films currently in the works, including Salem’s Lot, starring Lewis Pullman, as well as new versions of Christine, The Tommyknockers, Firestarter, and Rest Stop. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is not the only story from If It Bleeds being adapted either — two other stories from the collection, Rat and The Life of Chuck, have been optioned by Adam Sandler and Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures, respectively.
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is produced by Jason Blum, Ryan Murphy, and Carla Hacken, with executive producers Chris McCumber and Jeremy Gold for Blumhouse Television, and Scott Greenberg. The film is set to premiere on Netflix sometime in 2022.