If Edgar Allan Poe is the master of horror of the 19th century and H. P. Lovecraft the master in the 20th century, then Stephen King is the master in the 21st century.
Movie-goers would be hard-pressed to find a King book that has yet to make the transition to the silver screen. Despite being a master of the macabre, some of the best movies from Stephen King’s works aren’t horror stories. The Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me, and The Green Mile are fantastic movies that received praise from critics and movie-goers alike but lack King’s definitive horror style.
Since Carrie is being re-released (for the THIRD time) we here at Badhaven thought it would be fun to list the few remaining books that haven’t been made into film. Here are 10 dark tales that need to make it into theatres.
10. The Long Walk
In a dystopian future, one hundred teenage boys gather to compete in an event known as “The Long Walk.” There are several rules:
- Runners must keep a speed of four miles an hour.
- There are no stops, no breaks, and no finish line.
- Runners can receive aid only from the soldiers.
- Runners that disobey these rules are given a verbal warning.
- Three verbal warnings result with the runner being “ticketed.”
- The last man standing will receive “The Prize.” Anything they want for the rest of their lives.
The boys open up to each other as The Walk stretches onward. They share their plans for after The Walk, their pasts, and their fears. As The Walk continues the societal norms break down and the runners reveal their true natures and new friendships are tested. Hope gives into despair as more and more runners are “ticketed.” The boys start to question why they joined The Walk and their optimism gives way to reality: they are running for their lives.
Why it should be a film:
King’s book is filled with questions on philosophy, the nature of humans, and questions about life and death all wrapped up in locker room-type dialogue.
The story has plenty of shocking and emotional moments. You’ll cringe as each boy is ticketed, even more so when it’s a runner you’ve come to like. The story brings out the raw emotions buried deep in a person. This is like The Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies. It’s dark, it’s depressing, and it makes us question our choices.
So far, only the great Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Walking Dead) expressed interest in making the film version.
9. The Talisman
The Talisman tells the tale of Jack Sawyer and his quest to save his mother by journeying to a parallel world known as “The Territories.” Jack discovers that everyone has a “Twinner” or a parallel individual in the other world. Twinner’s lives are comparable to their counterpart in major events such as birth and death. Jack’s twinner is already dead which allows him to cross dimensions and explore the Territories. Jack must join with his childhood friend Richard and a werewolf known only as “Wolf” to stop the evil Morgan of Orris and save Queen Laura DeLossian, his mother’s twinner.
Why it should be a film:
The Talisman captures the love of a child for his mother and the bond between friends. Despite the child-like premise, this is not Lord of the Rings. This is not Narnia. The Talisman is the twisted fantasy world of two of the greatest horror authors of the twenty first century. The book already garnered plenty of attention from producers who see the potential in this novel. There’re people waiting in the wing to make this into a blockbuster.
So far, all the adaptations have been canned. TNT showed some interest in making the book into a mini-series but canceled it in 2008. A comic version by Del Rey comics started but is on hold for the time being.
8. The Eyes of the Dragon
The Eyes of the Dragon takes place in the Kingdom of Delain where Peter, the heir to the throne, is framed for his father’s death by the court magician Flagg. Peter is imprisoned in the tower known as “The Needle” and needs to escape to defeat Flagg and take his rightful place as king. If he fails, Flagg will plunge Delain into a millennium of anarchy.
This story deviates from King’s normal bread and butter. The Eyes of the Dragon is a fantasy adventure novel that has connections to The Dark Tower series and revolves around the classic theme of good vs. evil. The Eyes of the Dragon shares a remarkable resemblance to King’s previous novel The Stand with similar characters and plot.
Why it should be a film:
Adult fantasy is already filling TVs with shows like Game of Thrones. Now is the perfect time for a grownup fantasy movie. The name “Flagg” should sound familiar to any fan of Stephen King who serves as a recurring antagonist. A movie adaptation would be a great opportunity to introduce the world of The Dark Tower to audiences.
The Syfi channel elected to make a TV series out of the novel but that’s not what we want. We want to see this epic adventure on the big screen. If it does become a series, it needs to be able to give Game of Thrones a run for its money.