Stephen King’s work is a pop culture phenomenon. He is one of the writers who publishes the greatest number of literary works per year, and he can boast of an ever-growing number of adaptations for film and television. But in 2023, the two achievements break a new record. With seven new Stephen King film adaptations, streaming and television, the number of productions based on the writer’s imagination will exceed 314.
That’s a number of adaptations that it’s unlikely another author will be able to pull off anytime soon. Especially since Stephen King has revealed that he is currently working on two new books, which will also be adapted. But he also collaborates on productions based on the multiverse that sits between many of his most well-known stories.
The next series The Dark Towerby Mike Flanagan’s byline for Amazon Prime Video, will attempt to encompass King’s universe in its entirety and delve into the many connections between his stories and novels. The author actively participates in writing the screenplay and selecting the elements that will be brought to the screen.
But, while waiting for the ambitious project to crystallize, seven adaptations will be released in 2023. On this occasion, based on little-known stories and in a curious cycle, the second revisions of several stories. A whole new perspective on the prolific work of the writer and his obsessions.
The bogeyman (El Coco), an adaptation of a 1978 short story by Stephen King.
The story of a man chased by a faceless monster was… a draft that Stephen King almost threw away. For the writer, it was a cliched theme that didn’t allow him to dig too deeply into the horror. But after a night of nightmares, he made the final version. Eventually, the story will become part of the collection. The threshold of nightwhich reached bookstores in the late 1970s.
For the film version, the story will be directed by Rob Savage and will have a larger setting. The plot will include a brief hint at the origin of the creature and also its nature. The screenplay will be co-written by Mark Heyman, Scott Beck, Bryan Woods and Akela Cooper, the latter of whom penned the bestselling M3GAN. The production will premiere on the HULU platform in 2023 and has been described as a mix of popular horror and fantasy.
Salem’s Lot (The Mystery of the Salem Lot), a novel published in 1975
After the successful adaptation of CarrieStephen King decides to write what he calls “the great work of American horror”. This was an effort to bring some literary respectability to the genre in American academia. The first attempt, however, was what which the author himself called “a copy” of Dracula by Bram Stocker. For months, he struggled to bring originality to his story. As well as bringing a disturbing twist to the vampire mythos, this time framed as a large-scale infection ravaging a small town.
The first adaptation of Stephen King’s novel was brought to the screen in 1979 and had a less successful sequel in 1987. This year will see the release of a remake written and directed by Gary Dauberman, known for his collaborations with James Wan. The production had all kinds of problems, including the interruption due to the pandemic, which caused a considerable delay in its release. Although it does not yet have an official date for its arrival in cinemas, it is expected to be released in October this year.
Prequel to Pet Semataryan adaptation by Stephen King with previously unreleased material
In 1980, Stephen King’s daughter’s cat was run over by a truck. The writer became obsessed with what happened and started writing about it. However, what was originally a reflection on parental fears became a tale of loss wrapped in a supernatural realm. By the time he finished the manuscript, he found it so depressing that he decided not to publish it..
But, in 1983, he had to hand over a new book due to the demands of his publishing contract. Having no immediate alternatives, he dusted off the discarded draft. He reworked some scenes, added a harsher ending, and sent it. The result is one of the most disturbing works in his long collection.
Predictably, a similar premise was brought to the big screen. In 1989, Stephen King’s adaptation, directed by Mary Lambert, terrified and confused audiences. The filmmaker not only dared to include in his pages the disturbing death of a child described. At the same time, she reflected on grief with… a brutality that is very rare in horror movies.. A cult classic, the production had a sequel in 1992, also with Lambert, but with little success.
In 2019, the novel returned to cinemas under the direction of Kevin Kölschu and Dennis Widmyer. With major story changes, it received mixed reviews and a modest box office. But that hasn’t stopped the announcement of a prequel in 2021, which will arrive directly in the Paramount+ catalog. She will explore the myth of the Wendigo and the origins of the grim landscape depicted in the novel. Although not part of the writers’ room, Stephen King gave his agreement for the adaptation of the plot. The project doesn’t have a release date, but the subscription service is likely to launch around Halloween.
Buick 8 (Buick 8: a bad car), about a novel published in 2002
This is the second time King has told the story of a car being possessed by evil forces. Much more explicit and gory than Christinais considered its spiritual sequel. In 2005, it was announced that George A. Romero was going to direct this Stephen King adaptation. However, the project ultimately fell through due to pressures on his creative approach. The director insisted on a version that included scenes from… gory and sexual connotations.
However, two years later, Tobe Hopper took over the project, this time without any content restrictions. But, due to funding issues, filming was halted. Finally, in 2019, the story of the evil car once again became a production of interest. Filming is rumored to be taking place in secret and under the direction of Jim Mickle to reach Prime Video’s back catalog. This could be the big surprise of the fall on the platform.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon), a 1999 adaptation by Stephen King
One of Stephen King’s lesser-known books has also had a long journey of adaptation, which could come to fruition this year. The story, which combines fantasy, suspense and exploration with survival, features a strangely sinister anecdote. A little girl lost in the forest imagines that her favorite athlete is coming to her rescue. However, everything that happens is more sinister and claustrophobic. Much of what happens gravitates towards the realm of the surreal.. In fact, it is impossible to know if what is being told happens to the character or if it is simply a dreamlike experience.
Anyway, this unique script was also in the hands of George A. Romero, who once again failed to bring the project to fruition. In 2019, the production finally began to develop, and the following year it was announced that Lynne Ramsay would be the director. Since then, it has been learned that filming has begun, with interruptions due to the emergency of the pandemic. The latest update indicates that Netflix may be adding this Stephen King adaptation to its slate for its year-end releases.
Becka Paulson revelations (Revelations), a short story included in Rolling Stone magazine in 1984.
The story has gone through several reimaginings since its publication in the 1980s. What was initially just a 20-page outlandish narrative was included in the novel. The Tommyknockers in 1987. In both versions, the premise is particularly unique. The protagonist, Becka, is shot in the head, which does not kill her, but gives her psychic powers. Most inexplicable will be the ability to hear Jesus Christ (or so the character believes), who confides in him some of the darkest secrets of his knowledge.
Such a plot is, of course, material for cinema and television. In fact, in 1995, an adaptation of this Stephen King story was made as part of the well-known series Beyond the limits. The chapter was amazing because it took the postulate to dark places about the predatory instinct of human beings.
Today, a film simply titled Revelations is in production by C.W.. The project idea for the Stephen King adaptation is to combine the dark tone of the story with the violence of the later TV production. However, after its development was announced, it is only clear that it will be released sometime in 2023.
The long walk (The long road), an adaptation of the novel published in 1979 by Stephen King under a pseudonym
As there seem to be no limits to Stephen King’s creativity, this year there will also be an adaptation of the dystopian story he wrote under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman. The story, set in the relatively near future, deals with a totalitarian state that holds an annual sadism contest. Participants must travel long distances at a minimum speed, which they can never slow down. If this happens three times, they will be executed. The winner is, of course, the one who endures such an ordeal without dying of exhaustion or in the midst of the sinister pitfalls he encounters along the way.
With a more than obvious resemblance to The hunger Gamesthis possible adaptation of Stephen King passed through several production companies during the golden age of the saga. But, in the end, interest waned and the project ended up being one of the projects abandoned by the European Commission. Paramount.
However, in 2019, New Line Cinema announced that she would be reprising it, with director André Øvredal at the helm. Although it is another of the productions based on the work of Stephen King of which little is known. Only that it will come out in the last months of the year.
All the Stephen King adaptations you can expect to see in 2023.