Borderland is about to catch its big break.
Independent filmmaker, screenwriter and Illinois native, Joshua Brucker, recently signed a deal with Stephen King as a part of King’s Dollar Baby Deals, to adapt his short story, “One for the Road” into a film. The short story written by King also acts as a sequel to his bestselling novel, “Salem’s Lot.”
Dollar Baby Deals includes King granting filmmakers the right to adapt one of his short stories to film.
Brucker, writer, director and producer of the film, recently finished casting for the upcoming production. More recently, Brucker contacted Loony’s Brew, owned and operated by brothers Matt and Paul Kavan and located in Ranier, as one of the settings for the film, set to begin production in September.
“I knew I should look north, and something about the International Falls/Ranier area drew me in,” said Brucker of seeking out a filming location for the project. “The area is truly beautiful and captivating, but also entrancing with an element of dread, which I was looking for. I love the area, I love the people and there couldn’t be a better setting for this film.”
The vampire tale, which is set in Maine, follows an out-of-towner – Gerard Lumley – who experiences a slight accident on the rural road into “Salem’s Lot.” Desperate to save his family, he enlists the help of Herb Tooklander and Booth, Tookey’s close family friend. Together, the three venture into the night, only to come face-to-face with the evil that resides in Jerusalem’s Lot.
Brucker, who has been working on the film since January, has always had a deep love for Stephen King novels, claiming one of his favorites stories was “One for the Road,” which he read in his early teens.
“The story stuck with me and once I learned I had the option to adapt the short story, I was immediately hooked,” said Brucker, who is making his directing debut with this film. “From there, I crafted the script. I’ve made many changes, deviating from the short story a bit, but I believe I’ve made something that will shock and terrify those who watch it.”
As for casting the characters of the film, that was a completely separate feat for Brucker, however, the most enjoyable part of the pre-production process.
“I knew what type of actors I wanted to work with,” said Brucker, who attached actors known across the sci-fi and horror genre for the roles.
On board for the film is Lance Henriksen of “Aliens” and “The Terminator” for the role of Old Booth, and Don Scribner of “Crossing Over” and “Alien Armageddon” for the role of Herb Tooklander. In addition, Brucker has included Matt Roy, Daniel Bielinski, Brittany Benjamin and Danielle Harris (“Halloween IV” and “V,” Rob Zombie’s Halloween retellings) to play the role of Anna.
“I crafted the characters of Old Booth and Anna specifically for this film, with both Lance Henriksen and Danielle Harris in mind,” said Brucker, noting the cast will be the key to bringing his script to life.
Upon completion of the film, Brucker plans to enter it into more than 25 film festivals, many of which focus on the horror genre. Brucker has also been in talks with Loony’s Brew to hold a small screening in its party room, and has plans to contact local theater, Cine 5, to rent the space for a viewing of the film.
“I do guarantee the community will have the ability to see the finished product,” said Brucker.
As for the future, Brucker plans to continue doing what he does best – telling stories.
“I’ve been a story-teller since I was a child – writing all sorts of things, sometimes inspired by films I’d seen or simply from my own imagination,” he said. “After this film is complete, I want to continue telling stories — stories that create fascination, fear, and terror. I’m a horror fan, through-and-through. I can’t walk away from that. It’s my calling.”
In addition to his work on this film, Brucker has written four nonfiction books. He has also penned a short collection of horror stories titled “When Darkness Comes.”
A crowdfunding campaign for the film is set to launch in June, which will allow for Brucker to reach his fundraising goal for the film.
Local International Falls natives involved in the upcoming film include Bill Stenberg, Rick and Anne Holen, Mason Wilson, Jennifer Beck, and Eric Johnson.
To learn more about the film, visit www.onefortheroad2018.com.