Today marks the 69th birthday of one of the greatest horror authors of all time: Stephen King. Jonathan wrote a great piece last year about King’s accomplishments, so I won’t try to duplicate that here. Rather, I thought it would be fun to check on the status of all of his works in progress, be it the status of his future novels or adaptations of his previous works.
Let’s dive in to the films first. It’s no secret that King adaptations over the years have been hit or miss, but we have a lot of promising adaptations to look forward to in the next couple of years. There has been recent progress on the film adaptation of Gerald’s Game, a novel of King’s which has long been considered unfilmable. This is mainly due to the fact that the plot consists solely of a woman being handcuffed to a bed for the duration of the novel. That won’t stop Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) from directing said film adaptation for Netflix though. It’s still too early to know anything specific about the project, but Flanagan initially expressed his passion for the project back in 2014, so it’s been a long time coming and after the success he had with Netflix and Hush, I think we have a special film to look forward to.
Then of course you’ve got the film adaptation of It being released next September (well, the first part of it anyway). The film went through a pretty long development period before Andy Muschietti (Mama) was finally selected to direct the film. The first image of Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) was released last month to a mixed response but it’s really too soon to judge the project. At the very least you’ve got to respect the different take the remake is taking, especially when you take into consideration that the film will be set in 1989 and present day, rather than the novel’s 1957 and 1984.
One can’t mention Stephen King without referencing the Dark Tower series. Now that is a film adaptation that has been through some development Hell. After several false starts, production on the film finally began back in March, with Nikolaj Arcel . A release date has been set for February 17, 2017, which is an interesting time to release the epic. February is known for being a genre film dumping ground, but after Deadpool’s success from the same weekend last year it’s understandable that Sony is feeling confident with that date.
Lastly, it was announced earlier this year that his novella The Mist, which was previously adapted into a film directed by Frank Darabont, would be adapted into a television series for Spike TV. The series will be premiering some time in 2017, although no official release date has been set. It does feature an impressive cast though. It will star Morgan Spector (Boardwalk Empire) and Alyssa Sutherland (Vikings).
On the book side of things, King just released End of Watch, the final installment of his detective trilogy that began with 2014’s Mr. Mercedes. King’s next novel will be a collaboration with his youngest son Owen King called Sleeping Beauties, which will be set in a women’s prison in West Virginia. It is set to be released some time in 2017.
As you can see, 2017 is going to be a pretty busy year for Stephen King fans. So in honor of Mr. King’s birthday, grab your favorite Stephen King novel and give it a read this week. Happy birthday Mr. King!