Stephen King is not only one of the world’s most prolific authors ever (early in his career he wrote books so fast he began publishing some under the pseudonym Richard Bachman to avoid flooding the market), he’s also one of its most adapted. He has literally hundreds of film and TV credits to his name, from cinema classics like The Shining to recent TV hits like 11.22.63, and this week sees the arrival of Cell, starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. The good news for King fans is that Hollywood is showing no signs of slowing down — here are some of the biggest adaptations yet to come.
We’ve already seen It on screen before, in the iconic TV mini-series starring Tim Curry as the terrifying clown Pennywise. But now it’s coming to the big screen in two separate films, each showing one of the book’s two eras. Bill Skarsgård (brother of new Tarzan Alexander Skarsgård) will step into Pennywise’s over-sized shoes when the first part arrives next year.
2. The Dark Tower
King’s 7-part series of epic meta-fantasy novels has been mooted for an adaptation for years, with various plans involving TV shows, films, and more suggested. It’s now officially on the way, with the first part shooting right now, starring Idris Elba as the gunslinger Roland, and Matthew McConaughey as the villainous Man in Black. Expect this to be amazing, and not quite like any King you’ve ever seen before.
3. Mr. Mercedes
This one’s sadly in a spot of turmoil following the death of young actor Anton Yelchin, who was set to star in the TV adaptation of King’s trilogy about a mysterious serial killer. There’s been no news about the show since Yelchin’s death last month, but presumably the showrunners are trying to find the best way to re-cast and move forwards.
4. The Mist
The Mist is another one we’ve seen before, when Frank Darabont directed a feature film in 2007. Spike has ordered a pilot for its first ever scripted show based on the original King novella, which sees a small town overrun by a mysterious mist filled with deadly monsters.
5. The Stand
Here’s another one that’s had its fair share of development hell. People have been trying to adapt The Stand — one of King’s longest books — for years, with little luck, and it’s hard to see how the post-apocalyptic epic can be squeezed into a single film. It was finally set to move forward with The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone attached, but it’s now back on hold because he wants to make…
Yup, Boone has jumped from one King project to another. This one’s a bit simpler: one of his more recent books, about a preacher who uses electricity to take faith healing to the next level. We’re guessing things don’t end well.
The rare Stephen King adaptation we hope never happens. The original Cujo, adapted once in 1983, is about a mother and son trapped in their car by a giant, rabid dog outside. The new film is called C.U.J.O.: Canine Unit Joint Operations. No one knows what it means, but it sounds like it’s about a squad of elite dog soldiers, and I’m getting angry just writing that sentence.