There’s a seemingly dizzying array of Stephen King stories set to be adapted into both TV series and movies in the next few years. Some of them, like the sequel to 2017 blockbuster “IT,” are done deals, while others are stuck in seemingly eternal Hollywood limbo.
Here’s what we believe is a definitive list of all the different King adaptations that have been made public in recent years. We’ll add more as we become aware of them.
TV: Castle Rock
This anthology series produced by J.J. Abrams is set to come out in Summer 2018 on Hulu, according to a trailer aired during the 2018 Super Bowl. It’ll be set in Castle Rock, the fictional Maine town that’s been the setting for books like “Needful Things,” “Cujo” and many others. King himself told Entertainment Weekly he knows as much as anyone else does — which is hardly anything. It’s rumored to tie a number of elements of King’s stories into one series. There are some recognizable names that have been announced. It stars Andre Holland as Henry Deaver, Sissy Spacey as Ruth Deaver, Scott Glenn as Alan Pangborn, and Bill Skarsgard (a.k.a. Pennywise) as an unnamed inmate at Shawshank Prison. We cannot wait.
Movie: Pet Sematary
A “Pet Sematary” remake will be directed by up-and-coming horror filmmaking team Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, with a script adapted from King’s novel by David Kajganich (“A Bigger Splash,” the upcoming remake of Dario Argento’s “Suspiria”) and Jeff Buhler (“The Midnight Meat Train”). Paramount Studios has tentatively set an April 19, 2019 release date, though a lot can change between now and then. No word on whether this version of the story will be shot in Maine. King famously stipulated that the original film had to be shot in the state, with most of the movie shot in the Bangor area and around Hancock County.
Movie: IT: Chapter Two
New Line and Warner Brothers announced that Sept. 6, 2019 will be the tentative release date for an “IT” sequel — one that presumably will focus on the members of the Loser’s Club as adults, since this year’s “IT” told their stories as kids. According to IMDB, Andy Muschietti will return to direct, and screenwriter Gary Dauberman will return to pen the sequel. Considering the fact that the first movie in the series became the highest-grossing horror movie of all time, this one’s a no-brainer.
According to Deadline.com, Gaumont TV announced in the fall a new TV series based on King’s short story “N,” though for the show it’ll be retitled “8.” It takes place in Maine, of course, where a group of eight massive stones hold “an ancient evil so terrifying that it can drive visitors mad.” Three teenagers have to face it. No word on a release date or network, but David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle: Creation”) will direct the first episode, and “Ant-Man and The Wasp” writers Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari will pen the script.
TV: Sleeping Beauties
Even before the book came out last September, Stephen and Owen King’s “Sleeping Beauties” was optioned, according to Deadline.com. Last April, the studio Anonymous Content bought the rights, planning to make a TV series to be produced by Michael Sugar and Ashley Zalta, who brought us shows like “The OA” and “13 Reasons Why.” No release date yet, but it seems like a done deal.
Movie: Doctor Sleep
Warner Brothers studios announced that a film adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 book “Doctor Sleep” has been greenlit for production, though no release date has been set. “Doctor Sleep” will be directed by Mike Flanagan, who most recently helmed the well-received adaptation of King’s “Gerald’s Game,” distributed by Netflix. “Doctor Sleep” tells the story of Danny Torrance from “The Shining,” 30 years after the events of that book.
TV: The Bone Church
Deadline broke the news in mid-February that a TV adaptation of King’s long form poem, “The Bone Church,” would be forthcoming. The first-person poem’s narrator is an inebriated storyteller regaling his listeners with the tale of his ill-fated journey into the jungle to find the title landmark. Producing partners set to bring the series to life are Chris Long (“Mr. Mercedes”) and David Ayer (“Suicide Squad,” “Bright”). No word on a network or how close they are filming.
Movie: Drunken Fireworks
According to Variety, James Franco is set to star in and produce a movie based on “Drunken Fireworks,” one of the most Maine-centric of all of King’s stories. It’s about a Maine family that won the lottery and bought a fancy camp on a lake. His across the lake neighbor, a mobster, also owns a lake house. They get into a competition over whose Fourth of July fireworks display is bigger and better, which quickly evolves into something much more dangerous. There hasn’t been much news on the adaptation since it was announced in Summer 2016.
A remake of the King classic “Firestarter” was announced last April at the Overlook Film Festival in Colorado, Deadline.com reported. It was to be directed by Akiva Goldsman, written by Scott Teems and produced by Blumhouse, who were responsible for big hits like “Get Out” and “Split.” Since that initial announcement, however, there have been no additional developments or news on the production, so we’ll have to classify it as a “maybe” until we get more info.
Movie: Overlook Hotel
Announced nearly three years ago, and reported by Collider in Oct. 2015, this movie telling the origin story of the Overlook Hotel from “The Shining” as a kind of prequel to that story is in what Hollywood types call “development hell.” As in, producers are having a really hard time getting the movie made. Mark Romanek was believed to be directing and James Vanderbilt is supposed to produce, but who knows if any of that will happen.
Movie or TV: The Stand
Here we see a name that will be bandied about for King adaptations a lot: Josh Boone, best known for directing “The Fault In Our Stars.” Boone is currently attached to three different King projects, with a long-awaited adaptation of “The Stand” the most hotly anticipated. According to Movie Pilot’s post, like “The Dark Tower,” “The Stand” has been in development hell for decades. It was set to be a movie, then several movies, then a TV miniseries, then a full TV series, and now, again, a movie. That does not bode well. That said, it’s still one of King’s most beloved books, so compared to other King works, it’s more likely to actually happen. Maybe. We’re not holding our breath on seeing Randall Flagg on any screen, big or small.
Movie: The Talisman
Yet another adaptation with Josh Boone slated to be involved, says Variety. Boone might just write this one. He might direct it, too. We don’t know. “The Talisman” is a King fan favorite, co-written with Peter Straub, and seems ripe for an adaptation. Amblin Entertainment, Steven Spielberg’s production company, currently owns the rights.
Movie: The Long Walk
“The Shawshank Redemption” director Frank Darabont has wanted to make a movie of “The Long Walk” — published under King’s Richard Bachman pseudonym in 1979 — for decades now. He owns the rights and brings it up every couple of years, including in an interview with AMC in 2007. So far, there has been no other movement on it. But the story, about a dystopian future in which a group of 100 boys participate in a grueling walking contest that begins in Van Buren, Maine, is ripe for an adaptation.
Movie or TV: Lisey’s Story
King himself has wanted his 2007 novel “Lisey’s Story” to be adapted for some time. “’Lisey’s Story’ is my favorite of the books and I would love to see that done, especially now that there’s a kind of openness on the streaming services on TV and even the cable networks,” he told Variety last August
TV: The Breathing Method
Rumors have circled for a few years that King’s novella “The Breathing Method” would be adapted into a TV miniseries, also to be produced by Blumhouse, who also are set to produce the “Firestarter” remake. Scott Derrickson, who directed “Sinister” for Blumhouse, is supposed to direct. There have been no new developments on this movie in more than five years, with the last movement on it being a post from Vulture in October 2012.
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