Just one of the many perks of being an author who is successful enough to have your work adapted to film is that you get to watch the product at every stage of production. That is, you don’t need to wait for the final cut like the general public to get a feel for the movie. Stephen King, the modern-day master of literary suspense and horror, has certainly had ample time to get used to this privilege as he has had nearly 60 of his works adapted to the screen already.
2017 will bring a lot more Stephen King adaptations, though. Of course, there is the very highly anticipated adaptation of It coming in September. There is the quasi-sequel to the Dark Tower series slated for this July. And then there are the two Stephen King adaptations being produced by Netflix, Gerald’s Game and 1922. Mr. King has seen them all, according to movie news source Joblo. Let’s quickly go over each adaptation, the source material it is working with, and what Stephen King himself had to say about the four films in an interview conducted by Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune on Wednesday.
It (published in 1986)
The production of this movie has already been covered to death on the Inquisitr and other movie news sites online. Thanks in part to fantastic PR, the crew breathing new life into Stephen King’s 1,100-plus-page epic about a sewer-dwelling clown monster who preys on children has managed to generate a huge amount of hype for this one, even though an official trailer has not yet been released to the public. As the Inquisitr noted in a recent article, though, Stephen King saw the current cut of the movie and said that it “succeeds beyond expectations.”
In the interview on Wednesday, Stephen was even quoted as saying the movie was “terrific.”
King fans and movie buffs alike already had fairly high hopes for the flick, so Stephen’s declarations were not too much of a surprise, but they were still good to hear.
[UPDATE: As if that were not enough to get the Stephen King faithful all a-tizzy, the official trailer for Stephen King’s It adaptation that came out on March 29 has been receiving very positive reviews. View the trailer below.]
The Dark Tower(1982-2004)
Stephen King began writing the first book of The Dark Tower as a 19-year-old kid and did not conclude the story until he was 57. The seven books comprising the series make up almost 4,000 pages and are widely considered to be Stephen King’s crowning works. That’s one of the reasons why King fans have been extremely anxious about the upcoming filmic adaptation; they don’t want the Dark Tower name to be tarnished with a throwaway movie.
Another major factor that has made many people concerned about the movie is the almost complete lack of any real advertisement for it (or any other type of publicity) since the summer blockbuster’s two big stars, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, were confirmed. There hasn’t even been a trailer released, and the film is a mere four months away. Not only that, but the film’s release date has already been pushed back from February of this year to July.
[UPDATE: As Screen Rant reported on March 31, The Dark Tower‘s release date has just been pushed back again to August. Things just keep looking worse and worse.]
If Stephen King’s opinion is anything to go by, though, there is no need to worry. He was also asked about the Dark Tower movie during his above-mentioned sitdown with the Herald Tribune, and Stephen did not mince words.
“I’ve seen The Dark Tower and that’s terrific,” King noted.
Not exactly the deep insight one might expect from an acclaimed author, but it’s good to have some reassurance.
Gerald’s Game (1992)
This one is not quite as well-known as the previously mentioned Stephen King works getting an adaptation, but it is certainly a gripping story. It is about a husband and wife who go up to their secluded forest cabin for the weekend. The husband handcuffs his wife to the bed as part of a sexual roleplay. The husband has a heart attack and dies. That’s the book’s setup, and the next few hundred pages are a cerebral and pretty terrifying experience.
Gerald’s Game is the first Stephen King book being adapted specifically for Netflix, and that right there makes it pretty promising to many. With the greatly enhanced creative freedom a non-traditional platform like Netflix offers director Mike Flanagan, who is a huge Stephen King fan himself, the opportunity is there to go places most movies are not allowed to.
Fans might think the movie has a lot of potential, but what is the call from Stephen King, who has actually gotten to see what Mike Flanagan has done so far?
Apparently, King loves what he has seen of the Gerald’s Game film. In his interview, he even went so far as to call it “terrific.” Are you starting to sense a pattern here?
This one has received the least amount of press of any of these in-progress Stephen King adaptations because it is the one in the earliest stage of development. The movie, which the Hollywood Reporter says is currently being filmed in Ontario, is being written and directed by Zak Hilditch and stars Thomas Jane and Molly Parker.
The story centers on a father living in rural Nebraska in 1922. The father wants his wife dead and manipulates his son into committing the murder. He is then haunted by guilt and possibly some supernatural forces that slowly drive him to madness.
The plot is quite similar to that of Stanley Kubrik’s The Shining, a movie adaptation of a Stephen King book that King famously despises.
It looks like Hilditch and the rest of the crew did a better job of 1922, though, because King gave it his stamp of approval in the interview. According to the after-interview write-up, he called the movie “terrific.”
What can we take from this? Well, either Stephen King is much too liberal with the word “terrific” when describing movies, or his fans have a very good year to look forward to in terms of screen gems.
Granted, Stephen King has almost always looked favorably on movies adapting his work given they maintained the same main plot points and basic feel of the book. The aforementioned movie of The Shining did not follow the book very closely, so, even though most people regard it as a horror classic, Stephen King hated it. Hopefully, King’s approval of It, The Dark Tower, Gerald’s Game, and 1922 means they will all stick closely to the source material.
And that is not to mention the multiple TV series being adapted from Stephen King works, including The Mist, Mr. Mercedes, and the recently-announced JJ Abrams project Castle Rock.
[UPDATE: And thanks to more recent confirmation from Stephen King’s official Twitter, as seen below, we know he loves those, too.]
Which Stephen King movie adaptation are you looking forward to the most? Make yourself heard in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Francois Mori/AP Images]