Stephen King is one of the most celebrated writers of all time. Over the years, he has published over 60 novels and more than 200 short stories, and many of these have been made into television shows, mini-series, and films.
It, The Shining and The Shawshank Redemption are some of the most well-known movies out there, and while many people are familiar with their general plots and main characters, there are some behind-the-scenes secrets that not everyone may know. Yes, these behind-the-scenes facts about these popular flicks may just cause someone to love the King of Horror even more. Here are 10 things you should know about Stephen King movies.
10 The Shining Hotel Is Real
The Stanley Hotel, which is located in Estes Park, Colorado, inspired The Overlook Hotel from The Shining and served as the filming location for the TV miniseries in 1997. And Stephen King really stayed in this hotel: in room 217, the room that made it into his book.
When Stanley Kubrick created his version of this movie, though, the team behind the hotel that he used for filming asked if the room number could be changed to 237, since they thought people wouldn't want to stay in room 217. However, at The Stanley Hotel, room 217 is the room that everyone wants to stay in, of course!
9 Secret Window Used Footage From Another Movie
In 2004, Secret Window came out, starring Johnny Depp, and this thrilling movie was based on a Stephen King novella called Secret Window, Secret Garden. At one point, Depp’s character, Mort can't sleep and is seen tossing and turning on the couch.
During this scene, viewers can see footage of an ocean, and according to commentary from the DVD of this flick, that is actually leftover footage from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which came out in 1997, as the second installment in that wildly popular dino-focused franchise.
8 There Was A Pet Sematary And It Crossover
Another fan favorite Stephen King movie is Pet Sematary. The first movie was released in 1989, had a 1992 sequel, and then there was the 2019 adaptation.
The original film features some kids’ voices, as they are reading pet epitaphs. Jonathan Brandis’ voice can be heard during this opening scene, and fans would recognize him as the young version of Bill Denbrough from It! This was a miniseries from 1990, and it was based on King's novel of the same name from 1986.
7 The Shawshank Redemption Tree Was Knocked Over
In 1994, The Shawshank Redemption was released, and in this film, there was a very iconic tree. In real life, this tree was located in Ohio, and many tourists traveled over the years to see it, standing 100 feet in the air.
However, in 2011, it was struck by lightning and split, and then in 2016, it was knocked all the way down by the wind. Even though this iconic filming spot is not the same, this story, which is based on Stephen King’s novella from 1982, and its legend lives on, thanks to portrayals by actors such as Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
6 Maximum Overdrive May Have Predicted The Future
Maximum Overdrive came out in 1986, and it was written and directed by Stephen King and was inspired by a short story he wrote called Trucks. Within this tale, the Earth went through a comet’s tail, and this took place on June 19, 1987. June 19 should sound familiar to true King of Horror fans…
Yes, on that same date, in 1999, King had an accident. He was walking when he was hit by a distracted driver, resulting in a collapsed lung, a broken hip, and numerous fractures in his right leg.
5 John Carpenter Knew The Real Star Of Christine
The most famous scary movie about a vehicle is Christine, from 1983. It was based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King and was directed by John Carpenter. It is rumored that Brooke Shields was suggested for the part of Leigh and that Scott Baio was mentioned for the part of Arnie.
Carpenter knew that the car was the true star of the story, though, so he did not want known actors and actresses to be put into the film. Therefore, Keith Gordon played Arnie, and Alexandra Paul was Leigh.
4 The Makeup In‘Creepshow Caused Some Problems
In 1982, Creepshow came out, directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. A prologue and an epilogue in this flick showed a character named Billy, who was portrayed by King's son, Joe. According to IMDb, King took his son to McDonald's while filming, and Joe had fake cuts and bruises on him.
This caused the McDonald’s worker to call the cops! Additionally, when King had to be put in makeup for this film, he had an allergic reaction and had to take medicine and get shots.
3 Stephen King Appears In Many Of His Films
Those who pay close attention will see the King of Horror himself in some of his movies, television shows and mini-series, such as the following… He was in Pet Sematary as a minister. He was in Creepshow as Jordy Verrill and the sequel as a truck driver. He was in Maximum Overdrive as a man at a bank ATM.
He was in The Stand as Teddy Weizak. He was in The Langoliers as Tom Holby. He was in Thinner as a pharmacist. He was in Under the Dome as a diner patron. And he was in It: Chapter Two as a shopkeeper.
2 The Shining Sequel Is Coming Soon
Soon, Doctor Sleep will release, which is based on Stephen King’s novel from 2013, and which is a sequel to The Shining from 1977. According to IMDb, King was asked whatever happened to Danny, the little boy in The Shining, which inspired this continued story.
And even though King is said to not be a fan of Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining from 1980, that is the version that people know the best. Therefore, he had to make this new Doctor Sleep movie a direct sequel, with references to Kubrick's film.
1 That Super Famous Line Was Improvised
And speaking of The Shining… Jack Nicholson’s role as Jack Torrance is one of the most well-known parts of any scary movie and maybe from any film ever. He was a writer, he and his family were taking care of a hotel for the winter, and things started to go very wrong. One of the most iconic scenes involves Jack using an ax to get through a door, and at this moment, he says, “Heeere’s Johnny!”
This super famous line is said to have been improvised by Nicholson. Good thing it was kept in, right?