With The Dark Tower coming to theatres this Friday, I am designating today’s The Tuesday List--yes, on Thursday; I've been sick and out of state, cut me some slack--to Stephen King’s storie and the tales I’d like to see hit the big screen now that this one, part of series I truly never expected to be adapted for the screen, is poised to hit cineplexes everywhere.
Eight Stephen King Adaptations I’d Like To See, As Presented in Alphabetical Order
‘Salems Lot- It has been adapted twice (thrice if you count the sequel to the 80’s film, which you should not) but it has not been gotten right yet. This one seems especially easy to adapt which makes the lack of a truly good realization of the source material all the more puzzling and frustrating. One of the earlier King books I read and, as my father promised when he handed it to me, one that got under my skin and legitimately frightened me. I want to see that feeling realized on the silver screen.
Dolan’s Cadillac- A short story about the lengths a married man will go to seek revenge for his wife’s murder—partially spurred on by the voice of his dead wife. I like the idea of the story, especially with a gender swap as the “you hurt my spouse” trope happens far less with a woman as the protagonist. [Note: when this list was done, I found out that apparently the story was already adapted in a direct to video and/or streaming film. I endeavor to see it soon.]
Firestarter- The first Firestarter movie, directed by Mark Lester—he of Commando fame—and written by Stanley Mann, is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the book, rare for early King movies. However, beyond the chemistry of David Keith and Drew Barrymore as the father and daughter at the center of the story, the movie is a bit of a flat disappointment. I would love to see it get another shot.
IT- Yes it is coming. But I want it yesterday and I want it to be good, dammit.
Needful Things- I hate to keep playing this card, but the film adaptation is definitely wanting despite being fairly well cast in the chief protagonist and antagonist department. It is a story that involves an evil trickster, wheels within wheels machinations, and a mounting series of events that build to more and more out of control dangers. It’s a very Tim Stevens appealing story, I will tell you that.
Pet Semetary- Let’s overlook the spooky kid’s first name is my middle name. It is, but that’s not relevant here. Instead, what makes me want to see a good adaptation is this novel is, largely, a single image that I will offer without spoiling the context. King writes of an empty hat spinning on a road and it is beautiful and terrible and heartbreaking all at once. If a movie can nail that feel—and a flash forward to a potential future that will never be that is similarly all those things at once—that would be a movie worth seeing.
Strawberry Spring- A short story about a college town haunted by an unsolved series of murder as another series of killings seem to be beginning. When I say it is short, it is very short, but it has a great atmosphere and subtle sense of dread and the bones would lend themselves rather easily to a 90 minute film.
The Wedding Gig- Another short story that I think could be adapted to film despite the tale’s length. By deepening the woman who, along with her husband, goes on a crime spree after her wedding leads to her mob brother to get killed by his rival. I don’t need the bit about her size or her husband’s lack thereof—she’s supposedly 300 pounds, he only 90—because it plays as sort of a joke made worse by a brief callback to it near the end of the story. But the theme at the center—woman channels her guilt over her role—albeit very small role—in the death of her brother into a brief but impressive criminal empire could yield fascinating fruit.