rest stop movie

Her Smell director Alex Ross Perry wants in on the ongoing Stephen King adaptation boom. The filmmaker will write and direct Rest Stop, based on a King story of the same name. King’s tale follows a mystery writer who intervenes in an act of domestic violence unfolding at a rest stop. The story is very brief, and even a bit anticlimactic, so you can expect Perry to take some liberties with his adaptation.

Alex Ross Perry has had a bit of an odd career, jumping from under-the-radar indie titles like Queen of Earth, to big Disney movies like Christopher Robin. His latest, Her Smell, is now playing in theaters, and he already has a new project lined-up. Perry will adapt Stephen King’s Rest Stop for Legendary Pictures. The King story was first published in a 2003 issue of Esquire. It was later collected in King’s short story collection Just After Sunset.

King adaptations continue to be hot commodities, now more than ever. That’s a good thing for a King fan like me. But it also comes with a catch: filmmakers are running out of things to adapt. All of the truly great King novels and stories have been adapted, or at least are in the works. That leaves many outliers – short stories and books that, well…aren’t that great. That’s not to say great adaptations can’t be made from them, though.

Rest Stop is definitely going to require some finessing from Perry. In King’s story, John Dykstra, who writes mystery novels under the pseudonym Rick Hardin, is headed home from a writer’s conference when he realizes he really needs to go to the bathroom – due to all the beer he had. Dykstra pulls off at a rest stop, where he happens to overhear what sounds like a man attacking a woman in the ladies room. Dykstra is a meek, timid guy, but he’s crafted his alter ego “Hardin” as a tough guy. With this in mind, Dykstra decides to become Hardin, and proceeds to break up the fight between the couple by smashing the attacker in the face with a tire iron. Dykstra then reverts to his true self, gets scared, and speeds home, nervous that he might have been followed.

The end. I’m serious, that’s how the story ends. Like I said – it’s not very exciting. It also somewhat recalls King’s The Dark Half, in which an author’s hard-ass nom de plume suddenly comes to life and starts killing people. While the main Rest Stop story isn’t particularly cinematic, Perry can probably find a way to make it work. Per THR, Perry’s adaptation is described as “a propulsive cat and mouse thriller that follows the twisted journey of two women after a fateful encounter at a highway rest stop.” That immediately sounds different than the story, so there you go. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Perry cast Elisabeth Moss as one of the two women, since she tends to pop-up in almost all of his stuff (and I’m not complaining about that).

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