It’s been a long and bumpy road bringing Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s IDW comic series ‘Locke & Key’ to the small screen, but at long last, it’s here on Netflix. Previously, a ‘Locke & Key’ series was developed for FOX, set to air during the 2010-11 season, but it was not picked up, despite the pilot being screened at SDCC. The rights then rolled over to Universal Pictures, which planned to turn the comic into a trilogy of theatrical movies. In 2017, Hulu ordered a pilot, but once it was delivered, the streaming service passed. Netflix ordered it to series in 2018, but wanted a whole new pilot, with a brand new cast. Jackson Robert Scott, who played the youngest child, Bode Locke was the only actor kept from the Hulu pilot.
What else is different about the series now that it’s on Hulu? At a press Q&A, the show’s creators discussed just that (via Screen Rant):
“Executive producer Carlton Cuse explained that the pilots “were connected.” For instance, “in the Hulu version and in the comic, the story starts with the brutal murder of Randall Locke. And it’s such, a like, such a powerful piece of storytelling, but in a way, it felt over-weighted.” Since their version would focus more on the kids and them coming-of-age with the keys, they didn’t want to open with the murder, but rather “tell the story in flashbacks.” Especially since “it’s no less emotionally effective,” but it does “convey that this [the opening brutal murder] isn’t what the show is. This is a part of the show.” Showrunner Meredith Averill also added that Hulu’s version had more of “an emphasis on the adult characters,” but since “the kids are the ones that experience the magic,” they leaned more into their story.”
Cuse, Averill, and Aron Eli Coleite developed the concept for TV, working closely with Hill. There are ten episodes in the first season. In addition to Scott, the cast includes Darby Stanchfield as matriarch Nina Locke, with Bill Heck as her ill-fated husband, Rendell. Connor Jessup portrays oldest sibling, Tyler, with Emilia Jones as middle child, Kinsey. Sherri Saum portrays teacher Ellie Whedon, who has a past connection to Rendell and Key House, with Griffin Gluck as Kinsey’s friend Gabe, Laysla de Oliveira as the demon Dodge, Petrice Jones as Scot Kavanaugh, who becomes fixated on Kinsey, and Thomas Mitchell Barnet as Sam Lesser, a loner that falls under Dodge’s control. The supporting cast includes Steven Williams, Kevin Alves, Asha Bromfield, and Felix Mallard.
‘Locke & Key’ Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.