ⓘ Locke & Key (TV series)
Locke & Key is an American supernatural horror drama web television series developed by Carlton Cuse, Meredith Averill, and Aron Eli Coleite, based on the comic book series of the same name by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. It premiered on Netflix on February 7, 2020. The series stars Darby Stanchfield, Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott, Laysla De Oliveira, Petrice Jones, and Griffin Gluck.
Netflix announced the shows second season in March 2020.
After Rendell Locke is murdered at the hands of former student Sam Lesser, his wife Nina is forced to move with her three children Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode from Seattle to Matheson, Massachusetts and take residence in Rendells family home, Keyhouse. The children soon discover a number of mysterious keys throughout the house that can be used to unlock various doors in magical ways. However, they become aware of a demonic entity that is also searching for the keys for its own malevolent purposes.
2.1. Cast and characters Main
- Connor Jessup as Tyler Locke, the eldest son of the Locke family
- Laysla De Oliveira as Dodge, the "well lady" of Keyhouse, who was the demon who possessed Lucas
- Petrice Jones as Scot Cavendish, a British student filmmaker at Matheson Academy, and a love interest of Kinsey
- Jackson Robert Scott as Bode Locke, the youngest son of the Locke family
- Darby Stanchfield as Nina Locke, the matriarch of the Locke family
- Emilia Jones as Kinsey Locke, the middle child and only daughter of the Locke family
- Griffin Gluck as Gabe, a new student at Matheson Academy, and a love interest of Kinsey
2.2. Cast and characters Recurring
- Genevieve Kang as Jackie Veda, a girl that Tyler has a crush on
- Asha Bromfield as Zadie Wells, one of Scots friends
- Kolton Stewart as Brinker Martin, Javis friend
- Sherri Saum as Ellie Whedon, an old friend of Rendell who dated Rendells best friend Lucas back in high school and a physical education teacher at Matheson Academy
- Bill Heck as Rendell Locke, the patriarch of the Locke family and Ninas deceased husband
- Felix Mallard as Lucas Caravaggio, Rendells best friend from high school
- Jesse Camacho as Doug Brazelle, one of Scots friends
- Thomas Mitchell Barnet as Sam Lesser, Rendells student who shoots and kills Rendell
- Kevin Alves as Javi, Tylers friend who is on the hockey team with him at Matheson Academy
- Steven Williams as Joe Ridgeway, the dean of 11th grade and Tylers English teacher at Matheson Academy
- Aaron Ashmore as Duncan Locke, Rendells younger brother
- Coby Bird as Rufus Whedon, Ellies adopted son and the groundskeeper of Keyhouse
- Eric Graise as Logan Calloway, a disabled student at Matheson Academy
- Hallea Jones as Eden Hawkins, Jackies best friend
3.1. Production Background
Locke & Key was originally developed as a television series by the Fox broadcast network during the 2010–11 television season by DreamWorks Television and 20th Century Fox Television with Josh Friedman writing the pilot script adaptation. Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci served as executive producers for the pilot, which starred Mark Pellegrino, Miranda Otto, Jesse McCartney, Sarah Bolger, Skylar Gaertner, and Nick Stahl. The pilot was not given a series order by Fox though it was screened at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con. At the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, a feature film trilogy was announced through Universal Pictures with Kurtzman and Orci expected to serve as executive producers.
3.2. Production Development
On May 9, 2016, it was reported that IDW Entertainment was developing a television series adaptation of Locke & Key again. The novels writer, Joe Hill, was expected to write the productions pilot and serve as an executive producer. The project was being developed in association with Circle of Confusion with the intent of pitching the series to cable networks and streaming services.
On April 20, 2017, it was announced that Hulu had given the production a pilot order. The production was developed by Carlton Cuse with Hill and set to be directed by Scott Derrickson. Cuse was expected to serve as the potential series showrunner and executive producer alongside Hill, Derrickson, Lindsey Springer, Ted Adams, and David Ozer. Production companies involved with the pilot were slated to include Carlton Cuse Productions and IDW Entertainment. On July 14, 2017, it was reported that Andy Muschietti was replacing Derrickson as the pilots director as Derrickson was forced to drop out of the production due to a scheduling conflict. On March 27, 2018, it was reported that Hulu had passed on the pilot and declined to order it to series.
On May 29, 2018, it was reported that the production was in final negotiations with Netflix for a series order. Netflix was reportedly planning on redeveloping the property and discarding the prior pilot ordered by Hulu. Due to scheduling conflicts, Andy Muschietti was not expected to direct the productions new pilot but would continue to serve as executive producer alongside Hill, Cuse, Adams, Ozer, and Barbara Muschietti. Production companies involved with the new iteration of the project were set to include Genre Arts, IDW Entertainment. On July 25, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had officially given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. Aron Eli Coleite, Meredith Averill, and Rick Jacobs were announced as new executive producers. Circle of Confusion was also expected to again act as a production company for the series. The new iteration of the series was created by Hill and developed by Cuse, Coleite, and Averill. The new first episode was written by Hill and Coleite, with Cuse and Averill serving as showrunners. Michael Morris directed the first two episodes and serves as an executive producer.
In adapting the comic for the Netflix series, the fictional town where the Locke house was located was changed from Lovecraft, Massachusetts, to Matheson, Massachusetts. According to Cuse and Averille, this change had been suggested by Hill: while the comics setting of Lovecraft was to honor author H. P. Lovecraft, and thus had more Lovecraftian themes to it, Hill wanted to honor author and screenwriter Richard Matheson with the series.
Despite the fact the series had yet received an order for a second season, writing for a potential second season began ahead of the series first-season premiere. Netflix formally announced that they had renewed the show for a second season on March 30, 2020.
3.3. Production Casting
In August 2017, it was announced that Frances OConnor and Jackson Robert Scott had been cast in the pilots main roles. In September 2017, it was reported that Megan Charpentier and Nate Corddry had joined the pilots main cast. In October 2017, it was announced that Jack Mulhern, Danny Glover, and Owen Teague had been cast in starring roles in the pilot.
Alongside the announcement of the productions move to Netflix, it was announced that all of the series roles would be recast with the exception of Jackson Robert Scott as Bode Locke. On December 19, 2018, it was reported that Connor Jessup and Emilia Jones had been cast to replace Mulhern and Charpentier, respectively. In January 2019, it was announced that Sherri Saum, Griffin Gluck, Steven Williams replacing Glover, Darby Stanchfield replacing OConnor, Laysla De Oliveira, and Kevin Alves had joined the cast with Gluck, Stanchfield, and De Oliveira in main roles and Williams and Alves set to appear in a recurring capacity. In February 2019, it was reported that Petrice Jones and Thomas Mitchell Barnet replacing Teague had joined the main cast and that Asha Bromfield and Felix Mallard would appear in recurring roles.
Mirroring their appearance as characters in the comic book, creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez had cameo appearances in the first season finale as paramedics.
3.4. Production Filming
Principal photography for the series took place from February 11 to July 5, 2019, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Scenes within the fictional Matheson were filmed in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, as well as some other exterior scenes, such as the outside of the Drowning Cave. The Locke house itself was a constructed set and shot at Cinespace Film Studios in Toronto along with other internal scenes.
In December 2019, Netflix announced that the series would be released on February 7, 2020. On January 8, 2020, Netflix released an official trailer for the series.
The series received mixed to positive reviews from critics, with the score, set design, and visual effects being singled out as highlights of the show. Critics mainly praised the shows handling of themes relating to loss and trauma, as well as its use of horror genre elements, while criticizing the use of teen drama and romance subplots to drag out the story. The performances of Jackson Robert Scott and Laysla de Oliveira received particular praise.
USA Today claimed that the show was "nearly as strong a debut as Stranger Things was in 2016, but it a few tweaks to jump the hurdle between good and great." IGN credited the show for its portrayal of trauma and its visual effects, and praised the performances of Scott and de Oliveira, while criticizing it for not consistently building tension throughout.
Polygon gave a more negative review, criticizing the decision to make the television adaptation emphasize the coming-of-age story and fantasy elements of the series, while glossing over the horror elements and haunting visuals of the source material. In particular, its review criticized the uninteresting subplots and inconsistent pacing.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series has a 66% approval rating with 61 reviews, with an average rating of 6.58/10. The websites critical consensus reads, "Though Locke & Key at times struggles to strike a consistent tone, it captures enough of the essence of its source material to provide a fiendishly fun and sufficiently spooky time." On Metacritic the series has a score of 62 out of 100 based on 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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