With the release of a revitalized Pet Semetary earlier this year and It: Chapter 2 fast approaching, we’ve turned our sights on other Stephen King adaptations from the big and small screen that are due for an update. Let’s take a look at the list.
The Running Man
Don’t get us wrong, the 1987 feature film version, starring Arnold Schwartzeneggar, is 80s action-movie cheese at its best with Richard Donner of Family Feud fame absolutely killing it as the narcissistic game-show host Damon Killian. However, the movie is more Schwartzeneggar than Stephan King. This version of the story varies wildly from the vision put forth in King’s 1982 paperback, originally published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.
The Dark Half
The 1993 film adaptation of this king novel starred Timothy Hutton and was directed by horror film legend George A. Romero. It’s a tense psychological thriller that flew a bit under the radar during its initial release. It’s the story of novelist George Stark as he struggles against the personification of his darker impulses, Thad Beaumont. King has admitted that the novel arose out of his struggles with substance abuse and the creation of his Richard Bachman pseudonym.
The Romero film hints at the supernatural aspects that are more prevalent in the novel, but never really commits. It would be great to see a movie that fully embraces King’s original vision of the story.
The 1979 miniseries directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist) is an absolute classic, but the production seems dated by today’s standards. An updated version of the miniseries, starring Rob Lowe, was created in 2004 but failed to recapture the creepy tone of the original. We think its time to give King’s foray into vampire lore another go. If someone could recapture the sense of dread in the original with updated effects and a fresh cast, another trip back to Salem’s Lot would be something we could really sink our teeth into.
King’s sprawling epic was adapted into an eight-hour miniseries in 1994. Though it was saddled with a minuscule budget, the miniseries did an admirable job of wrangling the countless character threads in the novel. Multiple attempts to remake King’s apocalyptic story have been in the works over the years, but it looks like King fans may finally get their prayers answers. With the success of the It remake, it looks like an updated version of the miniseries is definitely on the way. Den of Geek! reports that a ten-episode miniseries is headed to CBS All Access sometime in the future.
The Dark Tower
We know what you are thinking, didn’t they just release a Dark Tower movie. The answer is yes, and the less we talk about that the better. The 2017 feature film, starring Idris Alba and Matthew McConaughey, failed to capture the attention of King fans or critics. However, the story of the Gunslinger is King’s magnum opus and deserves a proper film adaptation. Spanning eight novels, the Dark Tower saga is King’s attempt to give an overarching framework to his considerable body of work.
Considering the breadth and scope of the story, The Dark Tower might be better suited for a long-running television series. I mean, we are in the golden age of television, and Game of Thrones did just end. A similar treatment of King’s novels might be just the thing to fill the gap left behind.