When I first saw a poster for Stephen King’s new book “Joyland” in the subways of New York, I said, ‘Is that a new movie?,’ because of how bold the colors were and the way it’s advertised. One quickly realizes it’s a poster for his new book at second glance, but it immediately made me wonder — will it be a movie? A reader of his works and one who’s enjoyed most of the films adapted from his books, I had to investigate.
It looks like my instincts were right, the day the book hit shelves this story broke. According to a Complex online story: “Tate Taylor will be adapting the book for the big screen. The novel is King’s second contribution to the ‘Hard Case Crime’ series of pulp fiction books after ‘The Colorado Kid,’ which became the inspiration for the Syfy channel’s ‘Haven.’… ‘Joyland’ is a mystery novel with that signature Stephen King twist… Here’s the plot: ‘Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of a college student who moonlights as a carnival worker. There, he confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will forever change his life. It’s got all the makings of a King potboiler, with crime, mystery, ghosts and a creepy carnival setting.’ Taylor has only directed two films to date: 2008’s ‘Pretty Ugly People’ and 2011’s ‘The Help’.” The “Haven” series mentioned in the Complex write-up began in 2010. Now in it’s third year, another TV series has just hit the tube based on King’s writings called “Under the Dome.” The show premiered last Monday and has nearly 17-million viewers according to the Washington Times; and is said to have gotten “off to an addictive start… so much so that it’s hard to imagine any second-episode falloff in viewership,” according to the New York Times. The article continues… “It sets Mr. King’s dandy premise — the small town of Chester’s Mill is sealed off from the rest of the world by a mysterious clear dome.” I didn’t watch so I’m not versed on all the details, apart from the Times item, an imdb.com description reads: “An invisible force field descends upon a small town in the northeastern part of the United States.” Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, it’s one of those shows you’ll have to dive into to really appreciate the premise, I can’t do another TV show right now — as much as I love Stephen — I’ll stick to the flicks. And there’s a bunch in post-production, filming or in pre-production. Among them are: “The Ten O’Clock People” with Chris Evans; “A Good Marriage” starring Joan Allen; “Mercy” starring Dylan McDermott; and “The Death of Jack Hamilton.” ‘Jack Hamilton’ is based on the true events of John Dillinger, Homer Van Meter and Jack Hamilton after their narrow escape from Little Bohemia. As they are fleeing, Hamilton is shot in the lung. They attempt to seek treatment for Hamilton as his condition rapidly worsens and he begins to succumb to gangrene and dementia. One of King’s books that’s been in being adapted to the screen for years is “The Dark Tower.” Helmed by Ron Howard, he says it’s going to happen, it’s just going to take awhile and he has Stephen’s blessings — see more on that here: http://moviepilot.com/stories/1118617-to-me-gunslingers-the-dark-tower-is-moving-forward?stamp=50858&subscribe_to=42869&utm_campaign=to-me-gunslingers-the-dark-tower-is-moving-forward&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=fb-channel-legendary-directors
Over the years, I’ve loved seeing the writings of Stephen King come to life on the silver screen. Frank Darabont’s directions of “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile” were extremely well done, and starred A-Listers Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan. “Misery” is like an old friend to me, starring James Cann and Kathy Bates, I can’t count how many times I’ve watched it. Johnny Depp and Maria Bello worked opposite each other in his movie version of “Secret Window.” John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson were the main characters in “1408.” Other adaptations include: “Cujo”, “Dead Zone”, “Christine”, “Firestarter”, “Cat’s Eye”, “Silver Bullet”, “The Lawnmower Man”, “Apt Pupil”, “The Running Man”, “Pet Sematary”, “Sleepwalkers”, “Delores Claiborne”, “Thinner” and “Children of the Corn.”
My all time favorite though, was the one that broke my cherry, that King himself doesn’t even like… it’s “The Shining.” Directed by the brilliant Stanley Kubrick, King was so turned off by his version that a TV version was made years later once the rites were released from Warner Brothers. The first version was released in theaters starring Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall in 1980. The television adaptation aired in 1997 on NBC, there was no comparison, the Kubrick film was simply a better production. King’s book “Carrie” has spawned four films. It was the first of his books to be adapted into a film in 1976, and starred Sissy Spacek and John Travolta, it was John’s first major role in a feature film. A new version is set for this Halloween season, starring rising starlet Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore as the mother.
According to a book review of “Joyland” by Allison Flood from The Guardian: “Horror will be provided by King in spades later this year, when he returns to the world of ‘The Shining’ in the sequel ‘Doctor Sleep.’ ‘Joyland’ is a far gentler, deeper, more thoughtful book than the one it masquerades as. More a coming-of-age mystery than a horror-filled thriller, it’s closer to the tone of King’s short story ‘The Body’ – on which the film ‘Stand By Me’ is based.” A sequel to “The Shining”? Maybe for that to make more sense, I’d have to re-visit the TV version of “The Shining” because in the Kubrick movie the villian dies and the survivors go driving off in a snow storm. Interestingly enough, King’s novel “It” that was turned into a TV mini-series, is being made into a feature film.
Be it a new book or another take of one of his books being brought to the small or big screen, it doesn’t look like there’ll be any shortage of stories from Stephen King… ever.
in the middle of where FUNK meets Horror