From Page To Screen: A Preview Of Upcoming Stephen King Adaptations
Ever since the 1976 cinematic release of Stephen King’s Carrie blew cinema goers minds, fans of the author’s works have been clamoring for more. They haven’t been short of television and movie adaptations, as many of King’s works have been picked up for both the small and large screens over the years that followed.
Some have been more successful than others, of course. While the likes of Misery, IT, and The Mist have scared audiences for all of the right reasons, there have been other adaptations that have caused King fans to experience fear after learning that their favorite works of fiction had been compromised. The Dark Tower was one such disappointing example.
Still, the Stephen King wagon train rolls on, and for fans of the author, there is much to look forward to on both the small and the large screen. Whether or not these adaptations prove to be successful, of course, remains to be seen.
Children Of The Corn
He Who Walks Behind The Rows is set to walk again! Stephen King’s short story was originally adapted for the screen in 1984, and several non-King related sequels followed. The original movie wasn’t great. King originally wrote a screenplay for the film himself, but this was disregarded in favor of a rewrite which softened the ending of the author’s original story.
The follow-up movies were even worse, and a television remake, while remaining faithful to King’s story, was still pretty dire. A rebooted version of the tale is now in development in Australia, and it is being helmed by Equilibrium director, Kurt Wimmer. Hopefully, it will be a better movie than those that have preceded it. King’s tale of killer children was a scary one, so if done correctly, this film will be less corny (sorry) than those that have preceded it.
Release Date: TBC
Stephen King’s epic vampire tale has been brought to the screen twice before, most famously by Tobe Hooper for his 1979 television miniseries. It scared TV audiences at the time, most notably because of the terrifying character of Barlow, a Nosferatu-like figure who sucked dry the denizens of the small town of Jerusalem’s Lot. A remake is now on the way.
The Purge director James Wan is producing the film, and Annabelle Comes Home director, Gary Dauberman will be at the helm. There is no other news on the film yet, but as the source novel is terrifyingly good, and as the film is in relatively safe hands, we have hopes that the film will be as pant-wettingly scary as the 1979 adaptation.
Release Date: TBC
The New Mutants director, Josh Boone, is bringing King’s post-apocalyptic tale to the small screen. This will be the third time the author’s epic tome has been adapted for television, and while we don’t have a lot of details to give you about the series, it is hoped that the new 10-episode run will have more scope to go into the intricacies of the good against evil battle that formed the core of King’s novel.
Release Date: Late 2020/early 2021
The Dark Half
Early in his career, Stephen King famously wrote under the pen name Richard Bachman when trying to find non-horror audiences for his work, and his 1989 novel, The Dark Half, was an attempt to tell the story of author Thad Beaumont who did the same thing. In this work of fiction, however, the alter-ego of Beaumont comes murderously to life, which isn’t something (we are assuming) that happened to King himself! Famed horror director George A. Romero helmed the 1993 adaptation of King’s work, and it has fallen to Her Smell director, Alex Ross Perry to bring the author’s literary creepfest to the screen for a second time. Details are slim as the film is still in the development stage, but it is hoped that the film will be a better adaptation than Romero’s original.
Release Date: Some time in 2021.
Stephen King is largely known for his works of horror, but he has delved into the world of fantasy on occasion too. The Eyes Of The Dragon was one such work, and reports have come in that Hulu is developing this story into a television series. Another work of fantasy was The Talisman, which King co-wrote with another famed horror novelist, Peter Straub. Detailing the story of 12-year old Jack Sawyer, who goes in search of a mystical talisman in an alternate world (The Territories) to save his mother, this is one of King’s finest works, and for this writer, perhaps his best. Steven Spielberg is producing the film and The Handmaid’s Tale director Mike Barker will be at the helm, so good things are expected from the movie.
Release Date: TBD
Stephen King is adapting his 2006 novel for Apple’s streaming service; an 8-episode series that is due to air next year. Part love story and part psychological thriller, this tale of a widow who finds herself in a fight for survival against an obsessive fan of her late husband is set to star Julianne Moore and Clive Owen. Chilean director Pablo Larrain will be directing.
Release Date: 2021
Horror movie veteran Mike Flanagan is writing the script, with the option to direct, and Doctor Sleep producer, Trevor Macy, will be producing this movie. King’s 2014 novel centered on a former minister who renounced his faith after a tragic accident killed his family, causing the man to engage in experimental healing practices with, as you would expect, horrific consequences ensuing. There isn’t a lot known about the movie adaptation at this stage, but as Flanagan successfully adapted another of King’s works, Gerald’s Game, for Netflix, it is expected that his new adaptation will be a good one.
Release Date: TBC
Other Stephen King Adaptations On Their Way
While details are thin on the ground, we do know that there are other adaptations of the author’s work currently in development. From a Buick 8, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Mile 81, Sleeping Beauties, and King’s recent novel, The Insitute, are all marked for cinematic adaptations. There are also second go-rounds for Firestarter, The Tommyknockers, and Hearts in Atlantis in development too. For the small screen, HBO is working on Overlook, an original prequel to Stephen King’s The Shining, and cable channel Epix is working on Chapelthwaite, the prequel to Salem’s Lot that originally debuted as a short story.
By the time you have read this article, we are sure other King adaptations will have been announced, and considering the rate at which King writes his novels, we are sure he will have finished another book or two as well. Let’s just hope that any future adaptation of King’s works do justice to the words that the horror master has committed to the page.
Lee Brown is a UK-based freelance writer, and has written movie-related articles for such websites as Flickering Myth, Screen Rant, and So The Theory Goes. In his spare time, Lee continues to write, focussing on story writing, playwriting, and poetry. Some of Lee’s work has been published in printed and eBook formats, and he has had one play transmitted over local radio. He is an avid movie buff and TV binge-watcher, and probably spends more time than he should sat behind a pillow watching horror movies from his sofa!