Stephen King is usually rather supportive of films of his work – and has revealed which takes on his books he is looking forward to, and one that he isn’t.
Stephen King continues to be big business at the box office. The author’s work has enjoyed something of a mini-revival over the past few years with the IT films, Doctor Sleep and Pet Semetary all making their way to the silver screen. There’s more King adaptations on the way too, with Firestarter, Christine, Pet Semetary 2 and Salem’s Lot all in various stages of development.
As King’s work is so widely adapted, many of the films based on his books that are getting made these days are remakes and these three projects are no exception. All three books were already been adapted for the screen in the late 70s and early 80s, and whilst King is usually sanguine about the relationship between his books and their film adaptations, he seems less so when it comes to remakes and their connection to the original films.
In King’s eyes, it seems, not all remakes are created equal, with the author revealing to his local newspaper which of these projects he’s looking forwards to, and one that he isn’t excited about. When it comes to this summer’s Firestarter, a remake of the 1984 Drew Barrymore film, King is happy with the project, stating “the Firestarter remake is good. The girl playing Charlie [Ryan Kiera Armstrong] is terrific, and Zac Efron makes a better Andy, her father, than David Keith. It’s tighter and more focused than the 1984 version. Also, an actual Native American [Michael Greyeyes] plays John Rainbird instead of George C Scott.”
Likewise, King is looking forward to the remake of his vampire tale, Salem’s Lot, comparing its potential success to IT and the way that film grew in potential when remade for the cinema instead of TV.
However, there’s one upcoming remake that King isn’t looking forward to, and that’s Blumhouse’s announced reimagining of Christine, the tale of a killer 1957 Plymouth Fury. “I wouldn’t care to see Shawshank or The Green Mile remade, and I’m doubtful about the proposed Christine remake.”
Whilst there’s little chance of the other two films being remade anytime soon, Christine is happening. The author’s justification for his answer is that the film can’t be improved upon in his eyes, and in fairness, he has a point. John Carpenter’s 1983 horror is a very, very fine film and even with Blumhouse’s pretty good track record, it’s hard to see how it plans on outdoing or even measuring up to the original. King seems to agree, even mentioning the original in the same breath as the hallowed Shawshank Redemption.
Still, King has been wrong about adaptations of his work before (Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining being the obvious example) so we’ll sit tight and reserve judgement until the film releases. When we hear more on any of these upcoming King remakes, you can be sure we’ll let you know.
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