Earth, wind, fire and water are the elements that make up 30% of the world. The other 70% of the world is made of Stephen King. He’s everywhere. Anytime you feel like their might be someone else in an empty room, it’s just the presence of Stephen King.
And as much as the master of horror literature is everywhere, he deserves to be everywhere-er. One of his latest novels, “Under The Dome,” is getting turned into a TV series and more from his expansive library should get the same treatment. Here are five Stephen King stories that need to be on your television.
“The Dark Tower”
Every adventure story that has some sort of fan base is being adapted into some mainstream form of media. Right now, the people at Disney/Marvel/Throne Of The Emperor are desperately trying to get a script hammered out based around the people that swerved to not hit Peter Parker in Amazing Fantasy #15. And expect a plot synopsis based around some guy who shook Tony Stark’s hand one time to be released any time now. The expected title? Iron Man’s Pal, Jimmy Tholsen.
That’s why it’s only natural, and evolutionarily expected, that the gunslinger, Roland Deschain would get a TV show. It’s an exciting mix of dark action-fantasy and drama that would be perfect for an HBO series. It would be pretty pricey to produce, but look at how popular Game of Thrones is. That show is The Beatles of dwarves and pushing children from window ledges. While most of this list would best serve as TV miniseries, this could provide multiple seasons.
“The Running Man”
“The Running Man” is one of King’s most awesome stories. First published under the name of his pseudonym, Richard Bachman, it tells of a dystopian future, where unemployed Ben Richards, in an attempt to earn money for his daughter’s surgery, takes part in a reality show called The Running Man. In the show, he has to escape from being killed by Hunters, an elite group of hitmen. It’s pretty large in scale, with enough twists and turns to provide for a great few hours of television. There has already been a pretty movie version with Arnold Schwarzeneggar, but a TV series would provide a better chance to develop the narrative told in the novel, but also expand upon the universe.
“Full Dark, No Stars” is a novella collection, released by King in 2010. The first story in the anthology, “1922” took a horrifying shit in my soul when I read it. I don’t want to give too much away, but it deals with a man’s murder of his own wife and his slow descent into madness. Unlike a lot of King’s later works, it doesn’t have too many fantastical aspects, which makes it stand out, and it definitely doesn’t skimp out on the human drama and it has suspense that never lets up.
While it’s too short to make a full season, it would work very well as a miniseries, as the story takes place over a few months’ time. Get a solid actor to portray the lead role of the husband, grab a director who knows what he’s doing (my vote would go to Pascal Laugier, director of the terrifying Martyrs) and let them go to work on creating what could be one of the scariest things on TV in years.
I think it’s about time for another adaptation of “‘Salem’s Lot.” Sure, there’s been two already, one really good one from Tobe Hooper in the late 70’s and one done in 2004 that is sort of like a long ad for using books as toilet paper, but since vampires have become synonymous with lameness, a “‘Salem’s Lot” could be really useful in turning the blood-sucking dead into cool night stalkers again. The story is big enough to turn any miniseries of it into a landmark event, but small enough in scale to be doable.
I wasn’t very interested in horror until I read “Danse Macabre.” It wasn’t become my favorite genre until I borrowed King’s treatise on horror on film, literature, TV and radio from a friend, and after that, there was no going back. Before Danse Macabre, I considered it cool that I knew what a Halloween IV was. Now, if one of my friends doesn’t know who Richard Matheson is, I begin my research into how to kill the pod people impersonating my loved ones.
“Danse Macabre” is non-fiction, but it would be so cool to have a show that explored a different facet of horror in every episode. Stephen King could be involved as sort of the “Crypt Keeper” of it all, introducing episodes, and the rest of the running time could be spent seriously discussing and researching the mythology of such a great genre. You could interview other notable people who work in the genre, and the number of possible guests to include is endless.