With IT receiving rave reviews and making a fortune at the box office, now is a good time to be a Stephen King fan. Certainly better than last month, when The Dark Tower stank up cinemas and flopped on a pretty major scale.
The future currently looks bright for King aficionados, with multiple adaptations currently in development, and a bunch more doubtless being fast-tracked thanks to that opening weekend.
But what’s next? The following adaptations are coming very soon, including a clown-centric movie sequel that will doubtless be happening sooner rather than later.
Release Date: September 29, 2017
The dark, terrifying and supposedly unfilmable Gerald’s Game has finally been filmed, courtesy of Netflix and writer-director Mike Flanagan.
The macabre story revolves around a married couple retreating to a cabin in the woods to inject some sparks into their love life. A sex game goes wrong however, resulting in husband dead, and wife handcuffed to the bed confronting ghosts from her past.
Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood play the couple in question, while Flanagan knows a thing or two about shooting horror in tight spaces. He made the brilliant Hush, which also debuted on Netflix.
And King himself is a fan, Tweeting the below after a private screening…
Saw a rough cut of Mike Flanagan's GERALD'S GAME yesterday. Horrifying, hypnotic, terrific. It's gonna freak you out.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 11, 2017
Release Date: “October or something.”
“The one you want to watch for is, Netflix did an adaptation of 1922 from Full Dark, No Stars. I think that’s going to be out in October or something, and man, I saw a rough cut of that and it won’t leave my mind. That is super creepy!”
So Stephen King told Yahoo last week, talking up another forthcoming adaptation. And while Stephen King’s opinion of Stephen King movies isn’t always to be trusted, the signs are good for this one.
The novella concerns a farmer who kills his wife because she wants to move to the city. But after he buries her body, his life starts to unravel, the farmer becoming convinced that said dead wife is haunting him.
Zak Hilditch (These Final Hours) adapts and directs, while Thomas Jane plays the killer in question, and Molly Parker is his unfortunate betrothed.
Release Date: 2018
Now this one sounds intriguing. Castle Rock isn’t based on a specific Stephen King book, but rather a brand new story that takes place in the titular fictional King town, and features a whole bunch of his characters.
Hulu is overseeing the series alongside executive producer J.J. Abrams, the company claiming in a statement that Castle Rock “combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland.”
The trailer name-checks Salem’s Lot, Needful Things, Misery, The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, and many, many more King classics. While the cast features Sissy Spacek, Jane Levy, Melanie Lynskey, and Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgard, who sadly doesn’t play a child-eating clown, but rather a bloke with a legal problem.
IT: Chapter Two
Release Date: 2019
IT only adapted half the Stephen King book, dispensing with the adult story in favour of concentrating on the children being hunted by killer clown Pennywise. But the fact that the film is titled It: Chapter One suggests that Warner Bros. was always planning to tell the rest of the story. And that huge opening weekend means the process will very probably speed up.
Producers Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg recently told Slash Film: “We are locked and loaded and ready to jump in the minute they say ‘go.’ The script is not done, but the script is being worked on. Obviously, all of the filmmakers are chomping at the bit to get started, and we have a very exciting shape, and Gary’s working away. I feel somewhat optimistic that we’ll get to make it, but there’s been no official decision.”
Director Andy Muschietti has previously been more specific with dates however, telling Variety: “We’ll probably have a script for the second part in January. Ideally, we would start prep in March.”
As for how Chapter Two will differ to Chapter One, Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgård told Metro: “There is depth and a change in Pennywise from the first scene to the last and there’s a journey there… that’s what I wanted and that’s where I want to go for the second one, to delve into the psychological and metaphysical spaces of this transdimensional being.”