The Shawshank Redemption. The Shining. The…Night Flyer? Film adaptations of the works of Stephen King can be hit or miss, but there is no denying that Hollywood loves to mine the depths of King’s twisted, macabre mind. The Dark Tower was released last year, so was Gerald’s Game and IT and 1922.
While some of you King aficionados might bemoan the omission of a particular title, keep in mind that all of the entries on this list are properties which, as of this writing, do not have a production deal in place.
While Mr. King has a ton of work being optioned right now, we can only cross our fingers and hope that the following works will be given the Hollywood treatment at some point down the road.
5. RAGE (1977)
4. DOCTOR SLEEP (2013)
Decades after the tragic events at the Overlook Hotel, Daniel Torrance has become a violent alcoholic who is tormented by the ghosts of his past. In an effort to sober up, Daniel moves to New Hampshire and begins working at a hospice where he uses his supernatural powers to help patients ease over to the other side. In using his ability to “shine,” Daniel establishes a telepathic link with a young girl who is being hunted by psychic vampires who feed off of people who have the shining. Daniel soon realizes that helping this girl might be his only way to salvation.
Marketing this film as a sequel to The Shining will get people in theaters, though the change in direction (Stanley Kubrick obviously couldn’t return to the helm) and genuine terror King builds in the novel would ensure this movie stands on its own merits.
3. UR (2009)
Originally a short story that doubled as a thinly veiled ad for the then-new Kindle, Ur involves a man who orders a seemingly innocuous e-reader that actually originates from a parallel dimension. The device allows the man to see news clips from alternate dimensions, and he is compelled to use that information altruistically, an action that prompts investigation by an other-worldly police force. A film adaptation would bear more than a passing resemblance to King’s own The Dead Zone and the Philip K. Dick story, The Adjustment Team.
2. THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON (1999)
Nine-year-old Trisha gets hopelessly lost in the woods while hiking with her family. With little in the way of supplies, and facing threats of pneumonia and dangerous animals, Trisha keeps her wits about her by listening to the Boston Red Sox on her walkman. As hours turn into days, Trisha’s condition worsens and her grip on reality begins to slip, as the supernatural God of the Lost stalks her in the woods.
This could be the breakout role for a young actress, one set in a blurred fantasy/reality world similar to Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. Even if the story merely served as a rough framework for a film adaptation, it would be a great starting point.
1. THE TALISMAN/BLACK HOUSE (1984, 2001)
Black House sees Jack Sawyer as a police detective, who is investigating a series of murders perpetrated by a child killer. With the events of The Talisman largely forgotten, he finds himself pulled back into the strange parallel reality, where the orchestrator of the murders is none other than the Crimson King himself.