doctor sleep

Doctor Sleep

In 2013, King published Doctor Sleep, a sequel of sorts to his classic novel The Shining. It’s terrible! The book follows the grown-up Danny Torrence, the young psychic boy from The Shining, as he tangles with some psychic vampires. Did I mention this book stinks? Still, there’s brand recognition there – a sequel to The Shining is too good to pass up! So a film adaptation was inevitable. As recently as last-year, plans to turn the book into a film were still kicking around. And who was going to turn King’s book into a film? Why, it’s Akiva Goldsman again! Oh no…

Lisey's Story

Lisey’s Story

Remember Josh Boone? Here’s yet another King adaptation that had his name attached to it. In 2013, Boone was planning to adapt King’s novel Lisey’s Story to the big screen. The plan was to tackle the film as soon as he finished making The Fault In Our Stars, yet Lisey’s Story has yet to come to pass, which is a shame. It’s one of King’s better later novels, focusing the widow of a famous novelist who finds herself dealing with a crazy stalker. King, for his part, would love a Lisey’s Story adaptation, telling Variety, “Lisey’s Story is my favorite of the books and I would love to see that done, especially now that there’s a kind of openness on the streaming services on television and even the cable networks.”

the overlook hotel

The Overlook Hotel

One of the most promising yet-to-be-made King adaptations is The Overlook Hotel, a prequel to The Shining that has had some pretty exciting names attached to it. Warner Brothers originally wanted Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón to helm the flick before signing One Hour Photo filmmaker Mark Romanek. The film would be based on a deleted prologue from King’s novel and focus on the origins of the haunted Overlook Hotel. Romanek is a gifted filmmaker who doesn’t work as often as he should, and the prospect of him making a Shining prequel sounds intriguing. But all has been quiet on the Overlook front. In 2015, producer James Vanderbilt was still insisting the film was going to happen with Romanek at the helm, but I have a bad feeling this project might be as dead as most of the Overlook’s guests.

the eyes of the dragon

The Eyes of the Dragon

With Game of Thrones as popular as it is, an adaptation of King’s fantasy novel The Eyes of the Dragon seems almost like a no-brainer. Yet nothing has developed yet. The most we have is an announcement from 2012 that SyFy was working on adapting the book into either a show or miniseries. Styled like an adult fairy tale, The Eyes of the Dragon is set in a magical kingdom while also focusing on familial strife and palace intrigue. It’s pretty much Game of Thrones without all the sex. If done right, it could be a big hit. But apparently SyFy is a bit too busy making Sharknado sequels to get around to making this a reality.  

the shop stephen king

The Shop

TNT said in 2014 they were working a series that would double as a sequel to Firestarter, but like so many of the projects on this list, it has yet to be made. The Shop was a secret government agency that King used in a few of his novels, including Carrie and Firestarter, and the series The Shop, as described to EW, would be a drama centered on “the insidious agency responsible for kidnapping and attempting to exploit the psychokinetic powers of a young girl named Charlie McGee in the original story. Now it’s 20 years later and Charlie has been tracked down by one of The Shop’s former members, Henry Talbot, who introduces her to a group of people with their own unique abilities…[now] The Shop is very much alive, bigger and badder than ever, and its dark experiments are unleashing terrifying new entities on the world. It’s now up to Talbot, Charlie and the rest of the team to find The Shop and destroy it for good.” Sounds…kind of dull. I wouldn’t be surprised if this project has been abandoned for good.

The Talisman

The Talisman

The Talisman, a fantasy adventure King co-authored with Peter Straub, is perhaps one of the longest in-development projects with King’s name on it. The book was published in 1984, and Steven Spielberg quickly snapped up the rights to it. But Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment could never settle on a film script they were happy with. Spielberg then tried to turn the book into a miniseries, but nothing came of it. In 2008, frequent Spielberg producer Frank Marshall revealed that The Talisman was still happening, telling IGN, “It’s back to being a movie. It’s kind of on the backburner since we’re waiting to see how everything shakes out with the DreamWorks, Paramount, Amblin thing.” So far, however, The Talisman remains firmly rooted to the printed page.

dark tower roland jake

The Dark Tower Sequels/TV series

I considered just leaving this one off the list, because come on, we know it’s not going to happen. But for the sake of being thorough, here it is. The Dark Tower was planned as a franchise, since there several books in King’s fantasy series, but after the poor reaction and box office surrounding The Dark Tower, who knows if any sequels will see the light of day. As The Dark Tower was hitting theaters, director Nikolaj Arcel was still insisting a TV series spin-off was being planned, saying, “It’s being written. I was part of writing the pilot, like the first season ideas and the pilot and the second episode. It’s gonna be awesome. What was exciting about that, whereas with the film, we were really trying to create an introduction and make a standalone film that could sort of live in itself, but what was also exciting, working on the TV show at the same time, is that is totally canon.” Will this TV series ever actually come to pass? I’m not going to bet on it, but stranger things have happened.


Cujo: Canine Unit Joint Operations

I saved the best for last. I’m almost positive this project is dead, but gosh I hope I’m proven wrong. Two years ago, word came that King’s Cujo, about a St. Bernard that becomes rabid and starts attacking people, was going to receive a remake courtesy of Sunn Classic Pictures Inc, who primarily traffic in bible stories. But that wasn’t all – King’s book was going to be re-titled CUJO: Canine Unit Joint Operations, which hints at some sort of action movie about a team of super-dogs, possibly trained by the military. The details were spotty, but hell, with a title like that, you don’t need details! Nothing about the project made much sense, least of all its director, Lang Elliott, who just happens to be the CEO of Sunn Classic Pictures. Elliott hasn’t directed a film since 1994’s Cage II, featuring original Hulk Lou Ferrigno. That might not be a very illustrious directorial career, but if you ask me, Lang is the perfect guy to helm a movie called CUJO: Canine Unit Joint Operations, whatever the hell that is.

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