stephen king 8

The Stephen King business is booming, folks. Even before It made those dollar bills float, a whole slew of Stephen King adaptations were on the horizon. Now that It is so big, expect even more to get fast tracked before the Stephen King bubble bursts. Case in point: a rumored Stephen King TV series has just been confirmed. Details below.

In the short story N., from King’s collection Just After Sunset, King weaves a creepy tale of a man who believes his obsessive compulsive disorder is the only thing protecting our world from another world full of Lovecraftian monsters. It’s one of King’s best short stories, and now it’s primed to become a TV series for Gaumont Television. Deadline revealed that Gaumont is developing a series based on N., which is titled 8Annabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg will helm the pilot, with a script from Ant-Man and the Wasp writers Andrew Barrer and Gabe Ferrari.

King’s story is told in epistolary – a series of letters and journal entries all revolving around a mysterious man known only as N. in his psychiatrist’s notes. N. stumbles on a file one day where he finds eight Stonehenge-like monuments that act as barriers between our world and another dimension full of evil elder gods. N. comes to believe that the only thing keeping the monstrous elder gods from coming through the barrier in the eight stones is his own obsessive compulsive actions – counting, placing, and touching everyday objects. N.’s psychiatrist of course thinks this is all delusion at first, but then starts to believe that maybe N. is not so delusional after all.

King has said one of the inspirations for the story was the 1890 Arthur Machen novella The Great God Pan:

[I]t’s a riff on Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan,” which is one of the best horror stories ever written. Maybe the best in the English language. Mine isn’t anywhere near that good, but I loved the chance to put neurotic behavior—obsessive/compulsive disorder—together with the idea of a monster-filled macroverse. That was a good combination. As for Machen vs. Lovecraft: sure, Lovecraft was ultimately better, because he did more with those concepts, but “The Great God Pan” is more reader-friendly. And Machen was there first. He wrote “Pan” in 1895, when HPL was five years old.

Based on the Deadline story, 8 will be diverging a bit from the source material. 8 is set in King’s home state of Maine, where “a group of eight imposing stones contains an ancient evil so terrifying that it can drive visitors mad. In the summer of 1992, three teenagers escaped the malicious force, and are confronted 25 years later.” The short story does make a brief mention of three childhood friends, but to me this synopsis reads like Gaumont is trying to cash-in on the popularity of It, which also focuses on a group of childhood friends who are called back to their home town to face an unspeakable evil.

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