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Locke & Key - What We Know So Far

Who says horror is only for October? If you've been sleeping a little too well and need a series to keep you up at night, start counting down to the release of Netflix's newest horror series Locke & Key.

Based on a series of graphic novels by writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key follows siblings Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke as they move into their father's ancestral estate, named Keyhouse, after his murder. (Get it?) The house, located in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, is full of hidden keys that unlock various portals, all of which give the children different powers — as well as some less fun stuff with which they must deal.

The comics were first published in 2008, and an adaptation to the small screen has been in the works almost as long. A Locke & Key pilot was made for Fox in the 2010 to 2011 development season — with the support of acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg, no less — but didn't make it to series. Universal then tried to turn Locke & Key into a feature film, but that didn't pan out either. In April 2017, Hulu ordered an hour-long pilot written by Hill. However, nearly a year later, the streaming service announced it wouldn't be taking the show to series, leaving room for Netflix to swoop in.

Here's what we know about the Locke & Key series.

What's the release date for Locke & Key?

After all that back-and-forth trying to adapt the series, and a year and a half after Netflix ordered the project to series, the time between the release of the trailer and the series itself is mercifully short.

In December 2019, the official Twitter account for Locke & Key shared an animated poster featuring the series' release date: February 7, 2020. Mark your calendars and be ready and waiting on your couch (or behind it if you're new to the horror genre) that Friday.

The trailer for Netflix's Locke & Key teases the plot

On January 8, 2020, fans finally got their first look inside the television version of Keyhouse when Netflix dropped the trailer for Locke & Key

The trailer mostly sticks to hinting at the story — although if you've read the comics, you'll obviously have more insight into what's going on. A family of three children moves into their murdered father's isolated ancestral home, where they discover keys hidden throughout that unlock various portals with supernatural consequences. They also accidentally wake up a formerly dormant force and other shadowy demon-esque beings who want the keys for themselves.

This first look at Locke & Key also makes it clear that the series has many tropes in common with certain other trending horrors and thrillers. Kids running the show and getting themselves into trouble: check. A creepy, slowed-down nursery rhyme playing in the background: check. A majestic, isolated house: check. The past catching up to everyone: check. Geo-specific magical portals: check. 

This is possibly no coincidence, though. Locke & Key creator Joe Hill isn't just a best-selling horror author in his own right — he's the son of horror legend Stephen King, whose work has seen a resurgence recently through films like the Pet Sematary remake and the It duology. Positioning the Locke & Key adaptation so clearly in this legacy means the show is likely to find an audience — but whether it sacrifices the interests of those who came from the comics in the name of mass appeal is another question.

Who's in the cast of Locke & Key?

One member of the Locke & Key cast already has serious horror cred — and has been in a King family adaptation before. You'll probably remember Jackson Robert Scott, who plays the youngest Locke sibling Bode on the Netflix series, as the cherubic-then-demonic Georgie from the 2017 adaptation of It and its 2019 sequel.

The actress portraying Bode's older sister Kinsey might also be familiar. Emilia Jones played Joanna in the 2016 Western thriller Brimstone, had a background role in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and was one of an impressive ensemble cast of British actors in Horrible Histories: The Movie — Rotten Romans. Like pretty much every British actor, she's appeared on an episode of Doctor Who, specifically "The Rings of Akhaten" on the seventh season of the reboot.

The rest of the main Locke & Key cast has also popped up on a few well-known series. Canadian-born actor Connor Jessup, who plays third Locke sibling Tyler, appeared on two seasons of the anthology series American Crime and had a major role on five seasons of the sci-fi series Falling Skies. Bill Heck plays the trio's father, and you might know him from either The Alienist, on which he played murderer John Beechum, or from the fifth episode of the Cohen brothers' Western anthology series The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Playing the kids' mom, Nina, is Darby Stanchfield, best known for playing the no-nonsense former White House Chief of Staff Abby Whelan on Scandal. She plays tough, but how well will she and the rest of her onscreen family fare against the supernatural?