Aug 12, 2011

Stephen King Is Having A Very Good Week

Stephen King has provided Hollywood with a virtual goldmine of material over the years, each adapted to varying forms of success, ranging from the brilliance of Shawshank Redemption to a myriad of ill-conceived TV movies of the week.  The trials and tribulations of King's Dark Tower series have gotten plenty of attention of late, most of which can best be described as unfortunate.

Fortunately for King fans, the past few days have seen some pretty incredible developments on one of King's most celebrated classics as well as a story that has yet to be released.  Drew at Hitfix broke the news that writer Steve Kloves and director David Yates, fresh off the success of the last few Harry Potter films will be teaming up to bring us The Stand.  Chronicling a struggle between good and evil in a post-apocalyptic plague wasteland, The Stand is considered one of King's most polarizing works, fostering a "love it or hate it" mentality among readers.  Kloves and Yates are a killer team who have been chomping at the bit to work on this project for quite some time.  While I've never been able to garner any real enthusiasm for Harry Potter, there's no arguing that it's a well constructed series of films and these two are largely responsible for crafting the last few entries.  The Stand was previously adapted for TV by the admirable Mick Garris, and while it was largely faithful to the novel, the general consensus was that the material was simply ill suited to television.  Honestly, if this latest version isn't R-rated, there doesn't seem to be much point.

Just this morning word came down that Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Rachel Getting Married) will be producing, writing and directing 11/22/63, King's next novel which will be released this coming November.  The time travel tale tells (yay alliteration!) of an English teacher in Maine who discovers a time portal in the storeroom of a local diner and travels back to 1958 in order to prevent the Kennedy assassination.  We'll have to wait to see if the story lives up to its potential.  Demme is certainly a filmmaker with vision to spare.  I'd LOVE to see him sink his teeth into a 60s era story, and he's certainly not one to shrink away from conflict or controversy.  

These are both extremely exciting prospects, but they're both far from a sure thing.  Needless to say we'll be keeping a close eye on the development of both films. 

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