Earlier this month, the first trailer for the new It movie dropped and was greeted with soiled underpants across the world (which was the intention). Then, Stephen King himself tweeted a message touting all of his adaptations coming in 2017:
Mic drop? Not quite. Despite King’s optimism, TV and film adaptations of his work have, ahem, varied in quality. But if all the projects King mentioned live up to the hype, Hollywood will be come asking for more. In order to get ahead of the curve, here are five King stories that would make great movies. I Know What You Need – Night Shift (1978) Some of King’s best work comes from his short stories. This one sees a young woman attracted to a man who may be using black magic to woo her (there’s a very creepy assault parallel in there with some thematic weight). Filled with unreliable memories and flashbacks (think a less visually bonkers Legion), I Know What You Need is a real thinker (in a good way). But the short story’s true prizes are the intricate characters. I won’t spoil anything here, but Hollywood’s best up-and-comers would be lucky to get a crack at these star making turns. Roadwork (1981) Everyone likes to equate pop culture with political unrest, but in this case, the comparison would be apt. Roadwork centers on Barton George Dawes, a man who is dead set on preventing the government from bulldozing his house so they can build a highway through his property. Dawes is a broken man after the death of his son and collapse of his marriage, and he sure as hell ain’t gonna let one more thing in his life break. On screen, Roadwork could be an interesting combination of an old Western and a ‘70s/’80s pulp action-horror. In other words, it would be one hell of a ride. The Sun Dog – Four Past Midnight (1990) By now, the haunted camera that reveals real spirits and ghosts has become a cliché in the horror genre. But King perfected the familiar trope in this pulverizing novella. The whole story has a strange, otherworldly vibe to it. As a movie, it would bring you in deeper and deeper with each passing scene; a tunneling story of intrigue. It may be difficult to accurately adapt some of the more novelistic-qualities of The Sun Dog, but it’s worth a shot for anyone with ambitious vision. And, you know, a buttload of money from the studio. Duma Key (2008) Practically every bestselling book gets scooped up by a studio these days, but Duma Key has yet to get the big screen treatment. Yes, it’s a commitment of a book thanks to its length, but it’s not as meandering as some of King’s other works. The story follows a problematic man who moves to Florida, only to be haunted by ghosts. Oh, he then starts painting his dark and ominous glimpses of the future that endanger his family and friends. You know, basic King stuff. Duma Key doesn’t weave in any elements of King’s shared book universe, so newcomers can pick it up with ease. The visuals described in the book would translate well to the silver screen and allow a director to show off a bit. Joyland (2013) Amusement parks may be played out locales for horror stories, but Joyland isn’t exactly a straightforward scare. It takes place in the mid-‘70s at a cinematic park and is a little easier on the eyes and soul. The book moves quickly, eliminating any pacing issues previous King projects may have suffered from. Basically, it’s a classic coming of age tale with ghosts thrown in. Not a bad combo.
THE MIST, MR. MERCEDES, 1922, GERALD’S GAME, THE DARK TOWER, and IT: Believe it or not, they all look awesome.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 4, 2017