hearts in atlantis

Hearts

Inspired by the novella Hearts in Atlantis, from the collection of the same name, Hearts was announced last year as a new film from Johannes Roberts, director of the recent sharksplotation flick 47 Meters Down. While there was previously a King-based movie called Hearts in Atlantis, that film was actually an adaptation of a story called Low Men in Yellow Coats, whereas this version will be a true adaptation of the Hearts in Atlantis story (confused yet?), about a group of college boys who come together to play cards, all set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war. It’s one of King’s supernatural-free tales – think Stand by Me or The Shawshank Redemption – and could make for a touching drama. There’s been no real word on the project since its 2016 announcement.

stephen king n

8

One of my favorite King short stories of late has been N., a tale that turns obsessive compulsive disorder into a work of Lovecraftian terror. The story is told in epistolary fashion, as a series of notes taken by a psychiatrist about a new and decidedly unsettling patient. The patient believes that if he stops engaging in certain obsessive compulsive actions, a barrier between our world and a world of Lovecraft-like Elder Gods will collide. Gaumont Television is developing King’s N. into a TV series retitled 8, which refers to a series of 8 Stonehenge-like stones that guard our world from the world beyond. The series already seems different than the story, focusing on three teenagers who escaped a malicious force, and are confronted 25 years later. That synopsis seems like it’s trying to cash-in on the success of It, which also focuses on a group of childhood friends who have to eventually return home to confront evil.

james franco drunken fireworks

Drunken Fireworks

James Franco, who starred in the Hulu adaptation of King’s 11.22.63, is apparently going to star in an adaptation of this King short story from writer Matt Rager. The film will tell the tale of a small town in Maine (of course), where two men – a mob boss and a mechanic (played by Franco) – who compete against each other in the town’s annual 4th of July fireworks competition. I could see this becoming a quirky, over-the-top comedy, but I’ll just say it: I absolutely hate the short story this is based off of. It’s clunky and abrasive, and filled with moments you can tell King thinks are hilarious but are really just annoying. So I’m not exactly salivating at the prospect of a film adaptation.

in the tall grass

In the Tall Grass

Like the previously mentioned Sleeping Beauties, In The Tall Grass is another tale King wrote with his son. Only in this case, the son in question is Joe Hill, who has forged a pretty strong fiction career of his own at this point. Splice director Vincenzo Natali was announced to usher this adaptation to screens back in 2015. The short story that inspired this (possibly dead) adaptation is deceptively simple: a brother and sister stop at a rest stop and get lost in the field of tall grass adjacent to it. What follows, though, is something incredibly terrifying that builds and builds to a fever-pitch.

the stand revisited 3

The Stand

What the heck is going on with The Stand? Who knows! But a while back, The Fault in our Stars director Josh Boone proclaimed he would be the one to bring King’s mammoth apocalyptic novel to the screen. First, Boone said he was going to turn the book into a series of films. Then the filmmaker claimed there would be a Showtime series that would lead into the first film. Then it was put on hold. The Stand, about the aftermath of a plague that wipes out a large chunk of humanity, is one of King’s most epic novels, and the box office failure of the “epic” The Dark Tower might have hindered things even further. Maybe if Boone quickly changes the title to The Stand: From The Author of IT, things will pick up again.

revival stephen king

Revival

From one Josh Boone-directed King adaptation to another: Revival, King’s eerie novel inspired, in part, by Frankenstein, caught Boone’s attention early last year. Boone apparently wanted Samuel L. Jackson to star, but it doesn’t seem like the project has evolved past the planning stages yet. Revival is the story of a preacher who begins to experiment with electricity and the supernatural. There’s a lot of material in the book that would make for a strong, modern take on the Frankenstein mythos, but whether or not Boone is the person to do it remains to be seen. For his part, Boone believes that getting Revival made would be a heck of a lot easier than The Stand, saying: “I still intend to make The Stand, but I need more time…”

the breathing method

The Breathing Method

Of all the stories in King’s novella collection Different Seasons, only one remains unadapted to film or TV: The Breathing Method, the story of a relationship that develops between a doctor and an unwed mother in the 1930s. It’s mostly horror-free until the last few pages, when things go a bit crazy. A film based on the story was announced in 2012, with Sinister and Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson set to direct for Blumhouse. Nothing came of the project, but in 2016, Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum said The Breathing Method was very much alive, and now being planned as a television series. Just how that would work remains to be seen, since it’s a very self-contained story with only two real characters at its focus.

pet sematary

Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary, the tale of a Native American burial ground that has the power to resurrect the dead and turn them into cruel, murderous ghouls, is one of my favorite King novels, and I personally love Mary Lambert’s 1989 film adaptation. That said, even though that adaptation had a script by King himself, it left out a lot of stuff from the novel, so there’s plenty of room for a remake. Paramount has been developing a Pet Sematary remake as far back as 2011, with 1408 screenwriter Matthew Greenberg penning the script. Guillermo del Toro has been expressing interest in directing a Pet Sematary remake for some time now, which would be amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I’m confident it will never happen, because things that good never happen. Recently, It director Andy Muschietti throw his hat into the ring as being interested in making the remake. Muschietti pretty much has a golden ticket to pick and choose whatever project he wants now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he made this happen.

the things they left behind

The Things They Left Behind

Seth Grahame-Smith, who produced It, was hired to turn to King’s short story about the aftermath of 9/11 into a TV series for CBS series. King’s book was about a man haunted, quite literally, by a box of possessions that used to belong to several of his coworkers who died in the Twin Towers. The series was apparently going to take a more X-Files-meets-Pushing Daisies-style approach, focusing on “an unlikely pair of investigators carrying out the unfinished business of the dead.” There’s been no movement on this since 2014, but CBS apparently gave the show a pilot commitment, which means contractually they would have to pay the producers a big pile of cash if the pilot never airs. So either that payment already happened, or we’ll get a The Things They Left Behind show at some point.

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