Updates on the Stephen King Adaptation Boom

It has been over two months since I updated you all on the multitude of Stephen King adaptations, and A LOT has happened. So, without further ado, get your reading glasses on, sit back, get comfy, and get caught up.

IT’S “CASTLE ROCK” WEEK!!!

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It’s finally here. “Castle Rock” will be available to stream Wednesday July 25th on Hulu. I personally am extremely excited, and I know almost every constant reader is too.

John Anderson, writer for The Wall Street Journal, wrote an excellent review for “Castle Rock,” one I hope to emulate when I finish the show. All reviews out there are saying similar things, very good things, which only heightens my excitement.

Andre Holland and Bill Skarsgard reportedly run the show. I can’t wait to see Bill in action again, especially after watching him terrify audiences as Pennywise in the 2017 adaptation of “IT.”

Speaking of “IT,” filming for “IT: Chapter Two” is underway and set to release September 6th, 2019. The cast and crew look to be doing an amazing job.

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Let’s run through a little casting call to get everyone up to speed and be sure to check out shaunwatson87 on Instagram. He’s made some amazing pictures featuring cast members from the adult and young Losers’ Club.

The Losers’ Club: James McAvoy ⇒ adult Bill Denborough. Jessica Chastain ⇒ adult Beverly Marsh. Andy Bean ⇒ adult Stanley Uris. James Ransone ⇒ adult Eddie Kaspbrak. Jay Ryan ⇒ adult Ben Hanscom. Isaiah Mufasa ⇒ adult Mike Hanlon (hopefully he’s ready to make some calls), and last but definitely not least, Bill Hader ⇒ adult Richie Tozier.

The cast who portrayed the young Losers’ Club will be reprising their roles in “Chapter Two” in flashbacks. Stephen Bogaert is returning as Beverly’s father, and Ari Cohen is returning as Stanley’s father. Two other major members reprising their roles: Jackson Robert Scott ⇒ Georgie Denborough and of course, Bill Skarsgard ⇒ Pennywise.

Other notable casting info: Teach Grant ⇒ adult Henry Bowers. Yeah, Henry isn’t dead. Jess Weixler ⇒ Audra Phillips, Bill’s wife. Will Beinbrink ⇒ Tom Rogan, Beverly’s abusive husband. Xavier Dolan ⇒ Adrian Mellon and Taylor Frey ⇒ Don Hagarty. Adrian and Don are a young gay couple who get harassed by a group of bullies and then attacked by Pennywise.

All the set photos and promos that have been circulating seem to be shaping this film into something spectacular (as expected). I am pumped.

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Speaking of pumped, studios aren’t pumping their breaks on Stephen King adaptations, and why would they? “Mr. Mercedes” Season 2 has wrapped up filming and airs August 22nd on the Audience Network.

Season 1 was a major hit and Season 2 looks to be just as good. All the major characters will be reprising their roles, yes even Harry Treadaway is returning as Brady Hartsfield.

The first season of “Mr. Mercedes” followed Stephen King’s novel of the same name to a T. The second season, however, will follow the events of the third book in the Hodges Trilogy, “End of Watch,” said producer/director Jack Bender.

Wait a second… season two follows book three not book two? Yep, I was confused and a little disappointed too, but Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson don’t really factor into “Finders Keepers,” (book two), until about halfway through.

With these three characters being such a major part of the first book and first season, fans don’t want to watch a show and have to wait for the halfway point to see the heroes.

I personally really enjoyed “Finders Keepers,” and hope it gets an adaptation, but unfortunately it is doubtful. “End of Watch” is a very dark book and a great finale for King’s trilogy, so season two of “Mr. Mercedes,” should be excellent.

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As I mentioned in my last post, the producers of “Mr. Mercedes,” Jack Bender and Marty Bowen have been tapped to work on a 10-episode TV series adaptation of King’s newest novel “The Outsider.” The novel has some Hodges Trilogy ties, so they’re the perfect guys to work on it.

Before I go, here are a couple more updates for you:

The new “Pet Sematary” adaptation is set to release on April 5th, 2019. Last time I updated you on this one, Jason Clarke and John Lithgow had been cast as Louis Creed and Jud Crandall, respectively. Since then, filming has begun, Amy Seimetz has been cast as Louis’ wife, Rachel Creed, Jeté Laurence will portray the Creed’s daughter Ellie while twins Hugo and Lucas Lavoie are set to play the Creed’s young son Gage. This adaptation is shaping up to be amazing.

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Stephen King and Maryland author Richard Chizmar have teamed up again. They co-wrote the novella Gwendy’s Button Box, but this time they have co-written a script for a film titled “Trapped.” Filming recently began, so stay tuned for more updates.

Ewan McGregor has been cast as Danny Torrance in the upcoming adaptation of “Doctor Sleep,” the sequel to “The Shining” and Rebecca Ferguson has been cast as the antagonist, Rose the Hat. This is very exciting news for constant readers. McGregor may not have the exact look I had in mind for Danny, but he is an excellent actor and I know he will crush the role. 

Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, writers of the hit 2018 horror film “A Quiet Place,” have been chosen to write a film adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, “The Boogeyman” from the collection “Night Shift.” With the success of “A Quiet Place,” (it was awesome, trust me), we should expect something great from this adaptation.

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Stephen King’s 1980 novel “Firestarter” has been tapped for a new adaptation. Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions have brought on Akiva Goldsman and Jason Blum to produce, Fatih Akin to direct, and Scott Teems to write. The original 1984 film was actually decent, but with new technology, this movie could be something special.

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The cult classic anthology film, “Creepshow” created by Stephen King and the late George A. Romero, will be remade into a TV series by Greg Nicotero of “The Walking Dead.” The series will air on Shudder. At the moment, information is light, but this seems very exciting.

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Lastly, it was announced Monday that King’s 2002 novel “From a Buick 8” has been tapped for an adaptation. William Brent Bell will write and direct, while Addison Mehr and Priya Amritraj will be executive producers. I didn’t love this novel, but I feel like a film adaptation could be really interesting.

Sorry this post ended up a little long winded, but it had been a while since I updated you and, like I said earlier, a lot happened! Anyway, thanks for reading and again stay tuned and keep checking in for more updates.

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How the Upcoming Film, “One For The Road,” Can Jump-Start Your Stephen King Collection

An adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, “One For The Road,” finished production in February 2018. Here’s how you can prepare yourself for the upcoming film and begin your very own Stephen King collection.

In 1975, Stephen King released the classic vampire horror novel, “‘Salem’s Lot.” In the novel, an author has to fight an ancient vampire who intends to take over the small fictitious Maine town of Jerusalem’s Lot.

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Shortly after, in 1977, King released a collection of short stories, “Night Shift.” Clearly the ideas he had from “‘Salem’s Lot” were still with him because in this collection, two of the short stories, were directly related to the 1975 novel.

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The short story “Jerusalem’s Lot” was a prequel to the novel describing the dark past of the haunted town. The short story “One for the Road” was a direct sequel to the novel where we see a family who has been trapped in a snow storm just outside the town, discover they are not alone.

In the 70’s King started allowing student filmmakers to buy the rights to his stories for $1. The filmmakers would make their adaptations and present them to King for approval before showing them at independent film festivals. These are called Dollar Baby films.

On February 6th, a duo of independent filmmakers Joseph Horning and Curtis Case of CKC Quarterly Productions wrapped up filming of their Dollar Baby adaptation of “One for the Road.” They shot the film in South East Pennsylvania during the huge snowstorm in January.

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One for the Road” is slated for King’s approval viewing sometime in February 2018, and hopefully will be shown at a film festival shortly after. This is just the most recent of many Dollar Baby films.

The most famous Dollar Baby was an adaptation of King’s short story titled “The Woman in the Room” (a short story from “Night Shift”) directed by Frank Darabont. King liked Darabont’s adaptation so much that the two struck a “handshake deal” for Darabont to direct a film version of King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (from the collection “Different Seasons“).

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You may have heard of this movie which turned into IMDb’s top rated film of all time: “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Speaking of “Different Seasons”… this is a collection of four short novels (novellas) released in 1982 containing the previously mentioned “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” “Apt Pupil” (adapted into another fairly successful film), “The Body” which was adapted into the well-known movie “Stand By Me” (you’ve seen it, its #192 on IMDb’s top 250), and lastly “The Breathing Method.”

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Darabont also went on to adapt King’s novel (another one you may have heard of) “The Green Mile” (the film is #32 on IMDb’s top 250).

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So, you may be thinking, “Cool? So what?” Yes, independent films are usually never as good as big Hollywood movies, but every director and producer started somewhere right? They need all the support you can give when they are at this early level, so watch those independent films, and donate to small production companies.

BUT, (yes, there’s a but), read the books first! You know the saying, “the book is always better than the movie.” Well, that saying is almost always true.

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Here’s the deal, if you haven’t seen these movies yet, do so ASAP. If you have seen them (or haven’t), get the books!

Plenty of sites such as Amazon, AbeBooks and Ebay as well as stores like Barnes and Noble, offer King’s books at great prices!

Stephen King has had a plethora of his books adapted for the screen, whether that be television or movies. It is definitely worth it to find the books, read them, and collect them. The books not only look amazing, but they ARE amazing.

Start your King collection with the few books mentioned above… its only four, you can do it and once you start collecting and reading them, you will never stop… trust me.

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In case you were just skimming through or already forgot which books you need to go get, here’s a list with their film counterparts:

  • “‘Salems Lot” (478 pages) (1975) – TV movie released in 1978 and a remake in 2004
  • “Night Shift” (a collection of 20 short stories; many have been adapted) (326 pages) (1977)
    • “One For The Road” – film to be released in 2018
    • “Children of the Corn” – film released in 1984
    • “The Woman in the Room” – film released in 1983
    • “Quitters Inc.” and “The Ledge” – both featured in the film “Cats Eye” in 1985
    • (And a few others)
  • “Different Seasons” (Collection of four novellas) (518 pages) (1982)
    • “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” – film released as “The Shawshank Redemption” in 1994
    • “Apt Pupil” – film released in 1998
    • “The Body” – film released as “Stand By Me” in 1986
    • “The Breathing Method”
  • “The Green Mile” (399 pages) (1996) – film released in 1999

Feel free to comment with any questions, concerns or anything you’d like to say!

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