Stephen King is certainly no stranger to having his written work adapted for the screen, but Jaunt’s upcoming take on his short story The Lawnmower Man will be something completely unheard of even to King, according to /Film; a mindblowing new kind of VR television programming.
Stephen King’s short stories, and many of his novels too, have been adapted into movies and TV shows over the last few decades. Some of them, such as The Shining and The Shawshank Redemption, have become classics and have made Stephen King’s name a staple in the annals of Hollywood. Others, like the 1992 film/aberration The Lawnmower Man, have become the opposite of classics. The movie was so bad, in fact, and made so many unfortunate deviations from Stephen’s written work, that King actually sued, arguing that the filmmakers had used his ideas as the jumping off point for complete garbage and then tied it to his name. The trailer can be viewed below.
Well, it looks like Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man is getting another chance on the screen. This time, it will be a TV show. It won’t be just any TV show, however. It will be one of the first new instances of a revolutionary new concept, a TV show made exclusively for VR. That means every second of every episode will be filmed using a super-high definition 360 degree VR camera, and only those with a VR device will be able to enjoy the full experience the show has to offer.
Road to VR reports that Jim Howell is one of the men who bought the rights for The Lawnmower Man from Stephen King and is working with a production studio that specializes in VR TV called “Jaunt.” Howell recently noted that the 1992 Stephen King adaptation/abomination was regarded as very futuristic at the time (despite how bad it was) thanks to the mention of virtual reality, which back then seemed like a space-age dream. He says now that the technology is actually emerging into the mainstream, it is the perfect time to give Stephen King’s story a second life on screen.
“The original movie was a film of unsurpassed imagination and creativity with its ground-breaking use of VR back in 1992. Together with Jaunt we look forward to a contemporary team bringing to life a whole new world of VR; a world of immersive entertainment and communication. We are very excited to be working with Jaunt to create a VR realization of the film.”
What exactly “a VR representation of the film” could mean is still a mystery, as it is far too early in the Stephen King series’ pre-production for even the vaguest hints of a plot to have been revealed.
The state-of-the-art series may not have any cast or filming location attached yet, but it is certainly a huge deal for VR technology and the entire television industry. Sure, VR gaming is gaining popularity, but becoming a major medium for passive entertainment like movies and TV would surely help to cement VR devices as standard household objects even to people that have little interest in video games, especially if the video content for VR includes highly in-demand stuff like Stephen King adaptations.
Of course, to win over the public, VR TV and movies need to be of an equal or higher caliber as their non-VR counterparts. That is a challenge Jaunt intends to meet, and not just with their take on Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man. They also worked on another VR-geared series, writes /Film, entitled Invisible.
— PowisVR (@PowisNow) November 2, 2016
Invisible just came out several months ago and is the first full VR TV show ever released, but The Lawnmower Man will be among the first handful.
Hopefully it will be better than the 1992 attempt, but, either way, it seems inevitable that it will be a groundbreaking project that Stephen King will be glad to be associated with.
[Featured Image by Steven O. Vicigor/iStock]