Bloody-Disgusting recently got the chance to talk to Mikael Håfström, director of the upcoming 1408. The Dimension film, which concerns a haunted hotel room, is based on a short story from Stephen King’s “Everything’s Eventual” collection. Given King’s well known feelings toward the film version of his OTHER haunted hotel story, his OK is pretty promising news. Read on for the story.
Stephen King gives ‘1408’ seal of approval!
Håfström tells Bloody-Disgusting: “King was very pleased with the film, I’m happy to say. When you are adapting an author, especially one who has been around like he has, it’s very important that he approves. Even though the film contains more story, we are true to heart and soul of the short story.” Håfström also noted that King “really liked Cusack’s performance.”
Speaking of Cusack, the veteran actor channeled his inner King, helping screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski develop the character in pre-production. Cusack also improvised a lot. Håfström explains, “When your main character is alone in a room, our job is to make things continually interesting. For any movie, no one stays too strict to the script, it gives us more freedom on the set.”
Håfström’s previous film was the drama thriller Derailed, starring Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen. That film was grounded in reality and featured a myriad of locations and characters. So what made him want to follow it up with a guy by himself in a room? He tells us, “I’ve always been fascinated by hotels, so I had been looking for a project set in one. I also liked how the film would be staying with one character for such a long time; I thought that was really interesting. And the story itself had a thrilling setup; it was something I’d like to see [as a filmgoer].”
“Every story has its ingredients, you know? If you make a comedy, your job is to make people laugh. Basically whatever genre you are working in, your job is to try hard to tell a story and make the characters come alive. As a director you are constantly learning new things, and what I learned on Derailed, I was able to bring to 1408.”
1408, also starring Samuel L Jackson, will be in theaters on June 22nd.
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