In case you haven't been paying attention to what is coming out new to the theaters and television screens, Steven King is having quite a good run recently. From movies like IT: Chapter 1 on the big screen and shows like Mr. Mercedes, The Mist, and Castle Rock, Stephen King is enjoying a major Hollywood moment. King is one of my favorite authors hands down and I wanted to share some of my favorite King adaptations, both recent and classic.
- IT: Chapter 1 (2017)
About a shapeshifting entity that terrorizes children in a small town in Maine, It is a combination of 80s nostalgia and supernatural terror. Not going to lie, this movie may be my favorite King adaptation period. While there are diehard fans of Tim Curry's version from 1990, but I am not one of them. Everything from the casting, to the design of the forms Pennywise takes, to the gorgeous set designs and cinematography is just a cut above. Not to mention, Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise is completely unnerving and terrifying. After how much I loved Stranger Things, I was totally primed and ready for another story about kids banding together to fight something supernatural. If you haven't given this adaptation a look, you definitely should.
- The Mist (2007)
If It is my number one King adaptation, The Mist was a very close second place. From the show runner of The Walking Dead's amazing first season (Frank Darabont), this adaptation brings the supernatural creepiness and the terror of humans turning against each other in a way that will feel familiar for fans of TWD. There are several actors who worked on both projects, see if you can spot them! About the invasion of a small town in Maine by a mist that brings otherworldly creatures, it is equal parts creature feature and apocalyptic human drama. Without spoiling too much, this film has one of the best twist endings in any movie, period.
- The Green Mile (1999)
If you are shocked to find this movie on the list, you aren't the only one. It was years before I discovered that The Green Mile was a Stephen King novel. Following prisoners and guards on death row, The Green Mile focuses on the gentle giant John Coffey, accused of rape and murder, who has strange powers. Of all of the titles on this list, this film is probably the least supernatural and the most grounded in reality. Written by Frank Darabont of The Walking Dead and The Mist, film is absolutely stellar and was nominated for 4 Oscars, with good reason.
- Haven (2010 - 2015)
Based on King's The Colorado Kid, Haven is about a strange small town in Maine where strange things continue to happen. The mystery of what is causing what they call "The Troubles" is at the center of the story throughout the seasons. Though the show has its ups and downs, it is a series that I have gone back to re-watch more than once. It combines a mystery-of-the-week format of a police procedural with larger storylines that address the bigger supernatural forces at work. If you haven't checked it out, all 5 seasons are available on Netflix.
- The Stand (1994)
The Stand is classic King, a sprawling story about survivors of a mysterious plague. If you like post-apocalyptic stories, this is a series to check out. I was really little when this came out, so I only saw it years later, but I love the miniseries. It has Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, and Gary Sinese. What more can you ask for? Also, keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by the author himself.
Of course, being the massive Stephen King fan I am, there are a few adaptations that either aren't out yet or which I haven't been able to check out yet. Here are a few of the adaptations I am excited to check out.
- IT: Chapter 2 (2019)
With Chapter 1 already on my list, it is no surprise that I am dying for Chapter 2. Plus, the casting of the Loser's Club is amazing. Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and James McAvoy? Yes please! I'll be stalking the cast's instagram accounts in hopes that they post some photos and share some secrets.
- Castle Rock (2018)
Starring Bill Skarsgard, the Pennywise from It (2017), Castle Rock looks like it will be the moodier and more artistic sibling of Haven. Both shows focus on strange things happening in small Maine towns and they even share a similar mythology and settings. The trailers have looked amazing and I am so excited for it to come out.
- Doctor Sleep (2020)
Honestly, I have almost no details about this project except that Ewan McGregor is supposed to be playing the adult Danny Torrance. I am so excited to find out more about it and am already dying for there to be a trailer!