So It is a surprising success and other Stephen King adaptations are on their way — including one of Gerald’s Game, which is set to premiere on Netflix on September 29, directed by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush, and Ouija: Origin of Evil). But Stephen King has written so many stories that would make great films. Here are a few.
“The Jaunt” is a short science fiction/horror tale that could easily be expanded into an entire film. It’s about the invention of a teleportation device — as a family is preparing to “jaunt,” the father tells them about the origin of the device and the inventor who made it. And it features one hell of a twist ending.
A more recent novella by King, “The Gingerbread Girl” is an excellent suspense story about a runner who finds herself trapped by a serial killer. It’s long enough to make into a film, but fast-paced enough so that it feels like you can’t stop reading it once you start. I highly recommend reading it.
A short novel King put out in 1999, I’m surprised that The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon hasn’t been made into a film yet — apparently, George Romero was in talks to make one, but nothing came of it. The story itself is pretty simple: during a family hiking trip, nine-year-old Trisha gets lost in the woods and must survive and find her way back to civilization. Except she starts to hallucinate about something called the “God of the Lost”...or perhaps it’s not a hallucination at all.
Another novel that’s ripe for adaptation, From a Buick 8 actually has a pretty unusual structure: it’s actually a series of recollections of the members of Troop D, the state police in western Pennsylvania. One day, they found an abandoned car, a Buick, but there was just something wrong with it. The story goes into individual members memories of what happened with the car...and the various things that came out of it.
If you’re a fan of the TV show Haven, you might think that this short novel has already been adapted, but it hasn’t. Haven was about as far from an adaptation as possible. The book is actually a conversation between two old newspapermen and the young woman who is now working at the newspaper. Her interview with them turns to the most unusual story they ever reported on — which turns out to be the strange case of the “Colorado Kid,” a body that was found, but was never solved. Every single clue just brought up more mysteries. The book itself is so unlike anything King has written before that it’s fascinating to read it — and I think it would make a great movie.
One of the books King wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, The Long Walk is a dystopian horror novel set in the near future where a hundred teenage boys participate in “the Long Walk.” Walkers must keep a pace of four miles an hour — if they don’t, first they are warned and then they are shot. The walk ends when there is only one boy left. And the winner gets whatever he wants for the rest of his life. What follows is a story of endurance and survival.
Who doesn’t want to watch a Southern Gothic musical written by King, John Mellencamp, and T-Bone Burnett?