Stephen King novels and short stories have been adapted into just about every format under the sun: movies, TV series, audiobooks, plays, musicals and a vast array of merchandise based on their characters. But somehow never into a podcast — until now.
“Strawberry Spring,” the first-ever podcast based on a Stephen King story, will premiere Sept. 1 on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. The eight-episode podcast — scripted and fully produced, like an audio drama — will feature voice work from actors including Garret Hedlund, Milo Ventimiglia, Herizen F. Gaurdiola, Sydney Sweeney, Ken Marino and Al Madrigal.
“Strawberry Spring” is one of King’s earliest stories, written when he was just 20 and originally published in 1968 in the University of Maine’s former literary journal, Ubris. It was later reprinted in King’s first volume of short stories, “Night Shift,” in 1978. It’s set at a fictional New England college, during an unusually warm “strawberry” spring in late winter, in which a mysterious killer murders several students on campus.
Many other stories from “Night Shift” have been adapted into films and series, like “The Lawnmower Man,” “Children of the Corn” and “Trucks,” which was adapted into the infamous film “Maximum Overdrive.” Another story, “Jerusalem’s Lot,” has been adapted into a TV series called “Chapelwaite,” which is presently airing on streaming service Epix.
“Strawberry Spring” has only been adapted one other time, as one of Stephen King’s “Dollar Baby” shorts, in which he allows an amateur filmmaker to adapt one of his short stories as long as they don’t distribute it commercially, selling the rights to them for a dollar.
Unlike a traditional podcast, which is either documentary in form or features interviews, scripted podcasts are in some ways a throwback to the audio dramas of the early 20th century. Some of the most popular and acclaimed scripted podcasts in recent years include the paranormal comedy series “Welcome to Nightvale,” sci-fi thriller “Limetown” and Marvel’s “Wolverine: The Lost Trail” series.