In the year 2017, it's definitely good to be Stephen King. Before the year ends, there will be no less than six different stories of his that have been adapted into movies and TV series, bringing together some of the biggest names in Hollywood. While this year might have a higher concentration of adaptations than years past, King's works have been a staple of the horror genre for over 40 years.
Only a few years after King published his first novel, Carrie, director Brian De Palma was adapting it for the big screen. The film instantly became a classic, shedding even more light on the work King was doing in lliterature, while also proving the vastness of his imagination and how well his stories could be adapted into live-action mediums.
Earlier this month, the most recent adaptation of his novel IT shattered box office records, going on to become the highest grossing horror film of all time. In the next month, there are two more films headed to Netflix based on his stories, Gerald's Game on September 29 and 1922 on October 20. The author recently revealed to Vulture why this year has seen so many of his works come to life.
"It’s kind of a perfect storm, isn’t it?" King noted. "A lot of these things came up all at the same time, and I don’t think there was any particular reason for it to happen. It’s like a farmer having a really good year. [Laughs.]"
Coming to Netflix in October is 1922, a film based on one of his short stories, which stars Thomas Jane. The author drew an interesting comparison between his success and the events of the story.
"In 1922, when Wilfred says, 'We had a really good year for corn then,' well, I had a really good year for corn this year," King joked. "There are other factors: Some of the recent things have been successful, like the miniseries of 11.22.63, and I think when that happens, people say to themselves, 'If X succeeds, maybe Y will.' But I’d like to think a lot of it is just the material, that people see something in these stories that would be visually arresting."
Last year, Hulu debuted the James Franco-starring 11.22.63, which was received with mostly positive reviews and sits at 80% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. The author has achieved a fair share of success recently, but he's also been met with some disappointments.
One of the most anticipated adaptations of King's came earlier this summer in the form of The Dark Tower. Based a series of multiple books, the story brought to life characters fans have been waiting to see on screen for decades. Sadly, the film was both a financial and critical disappointment, one which King is well aware of.
"The major challenge was to do a film based on a series of books that’s really long, about 3,000 pages," King confessed. "The other part of it was the decision to do a PG-13 feature adaptation of books that are extremely violent and deal with violent behavior in a fairly graphic way."
"That was something that had to be overcome, although I’ve gotta say, I thought [screenwriter] Akiva Goldsman did a terrific job in taking a central part of the book and turning it into what I thought was a pretty good movie," the author noted.
He remains hopeful about the property, implying there's no reason to doubt the success of a forthcoming TV series.
"The TV series they’re developing now…we’ll see what happens with that. It would be like a complete reboot, so we’ll just have to see," King shared.
Given the varying quality of films and TV series based on his works over the years, you'd think he'd grow possessive over his content. On the contrary, the author welcomes the opportunity to reinvent his works.
"I never had a problem with it, from Carrie onward," King admitted. "Even with Carrie, my feeling was, 'They’re gonna make this movie. If it’s a success, it will help me do what I want to do, which is to write books.'"
King also cites the abundance of his stories as a reason that he's more likely to give an adaptation the go-ahead.
"Take a guy like William Peter Blatty when [William] Friedkin made The Exorcist: That was his baby, so it was probably an extremely important event in his life," King compared. "Same thing with Ira Levin, who did Rosemary’s Baby. He was terrific, but he only wrote four novels, so when [Roman] Polanski wanted to make Rosemary’s Baby, Levin was very anxious that he
He added, "My idea is, 'If you’re going to make changes,