Stephen King teases new adaptations of his classic novels Salem’s Lot and The Stand. Beginning with his very first book – 1974’s Carrie – King has been a popular target for adaptation by Hollywood, with his work having been turned into films and TV shows literally dozens of times. Some of these adaptations have been amazing, some have been decent, and some have been downright awful, but that never seems to discourage studios from wanting to try and craft the next big King-based hit.
That strategy sure worked out well for Warner Bros., with their R-rated adaptation of King’s IT currently hauling in cash by the truckload. Director Andy Muschietti’s film is rapidly approaching the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office, cementing it as one of the most successful horror properties of all time. Muschietti has recently expressed interest in directing a new adaptation of Pet Sematary as well, perhaps setting himself up as Hollywood’s new go-to director for King material.
While it remains to be seen if Muschietti’s wish to direct Pet Sematary will come true, King himself spoke to Vulture recently, and during the chat, the horror master teased possible new adaptations of both Salem’s Lot and The Stand. Here’s what the iconic author had to say.
“There’s talk about doing The Stand as an extended TV series, possibly for Showtime or CBS All Access, and there’s been some interest in developing Salem’s Lot as a feature, probably because people are saying, “Well, we took an old miniseries called IT and turned it into a phenomenon, so maybe we can do it with something else.” Nothing succeeds like excess!”
Salem’s Lot – King’s second novel, released in 1975 – has actually been adapted twice before, both as TV miniseries. The first of those came in 1979, and is today well-remembered for some especially creepy sequences, although the pacing can sometimes drag. The second starred Rob Lowe as protagonist Ben Mears, and aired on TNT in 2004. Most seem to prefer the 1979 Salem’s Lot, but the 2004 version has its fans as well. The Stand – King’s fourth novel, released in 1978 – was adapted into a miniseries for ABC in 1994, which is generally well-regarded by fans.
As King points out, the idea of turning Salem’s Lot into a feature makes sense, as IT proved that a King miniseries can translate well over to the big screen. Interestingly, King’s mention of doing The Stand as a TV series seems to suggest that director Josh Boone’s feature adaptation of the post-apocalyptic novel is completely dead, after being officially put on hold in early 2016. Perhaps that’s for the best, as a series format would likely enable much more of King’s gargantuan book to be adapted.
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