'Misery' on Broadway – What Every Other Review Won't Tell You

misery0Misery on Broadway – What Every Other Review Won’t Tell You
by Jason Sechrest

In the Fall of 2015, Misery came to Broadway – but that’s not necessarily as bad as it sounds.

The stage adaptation of the novel by Stephen King made its run at the Broadhurst Theater from November 15th, 2015 to February 14th, 2016, starring Bruce Willis as romance novelist Paul Sheldon (who has suffered a near fatal car accident in a snow storm), and Laurie Metcalf as Annie Wilkes, his “#1 fan” who has rescued him from said crash only to hold him captive in her home.

Now, we could have reviewed Misery on Broadway during its run, but where is the fun in all that?Continue Reading

News From The Dead Zone #79

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

1408 comes out on DVD today. Here are reviews of the new Misery Collector’s Edition DVD and the 25th anniversary edition of Cujo.

Here’s a new behind-the-scenes video from the set of The Mist.

According to a new press release, the upcoming (November 7) 240-page hardcover edition of Gunslinger Born will “present fans with exciting bonus material. Leading the way is a series of all-new illustrations from Lee. Additional added-value features will be unveiled in the coming weeks.”

“They’re all gonna laugh at you.” A year after Jaws made audiences afraid to go in the water, Carrie raised similar fears about the high school prom. Schedule permitting, director Brian De Palma will participate in a post-screening discussion about the film when it hits the big screen at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in Manhattan (111 E 59th between Park & Lexington Ave) on October 15 as part of the Monday Nights with Oscar series. Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be reserved by calling 1-888-778-7575. Doors open at 7 p.m. All seating is unreserved. Featuring a new print from the Academy film archive.

King will be making two appearances in October to promote the Best American Short Stories (2007) which he edited. He will be at Symphony Space in New York on October 10th and in Cambridge, MA on October 16th. His introduction from the anthology was published on Sunday in the NY Times Book Review.

Here’s an interesting blog entry titled Stephen King’s Shoddy Cinematic Status.

News From The Dead Zone #76

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The producers of The Talisman miniseries for TNT got together and looked at their scripts and realized something. This movie is going to cost a lot of money. Due to budgetary issues, the six-hour event has been put on hold, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Mick Garris is quoted in the article as saying that ABC couldn’t afford the four-hour version he wrote back in 2000. This doesn’t mean the project is dead, but 2008 looks like a big question mark right now.

Here is the first trailer for The Mist.

Here are a couple of good interviews/articles about The Long Road Home, the second cycle in the Marvel graphic novel series: Comic Book Resource and Newsarama. The series debuts in February 2008.

Jim Shepard will join Richard Russo and Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves at an evening hosted by Stephen King and The Best American Short Stories 2007 series editor Heidi Pitlor on Oct 16 at 8pm at Memorial Church, 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge. Admission is $15, which includes purchase of the book. Tickets will go on sale mid-September at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge.

Here is the Publishers Weekly review of The Best American Short Stories 2007 (October 10):

King admits in his introduction that he prefers “all-out emotionally assaultive” stories to those that might appeal to his “critical nose.” Yet King’s selections are right at home among those of recent BASS editors Lorrie Moore, Michael Chabon and Walter Mosley: John Barth’s darkly comic take on aging and mortality; a child’s unforgiving view of her alcoholic parent from T.C. Boyle; an exploration of the grief of a crystal meth addict by William Gay (a writer King notes is a relatively obscure “American talent”); Lauren Groff’s piece about a polio survivor learning to swim during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic (based loosely on real-life Olympian Ethelda Bleibtrey); Roy Kesey’s imagining of an airport terminal as microcosm of global politics; and Karen Russell’s halfway house for the human children of werewolves (“their condition skips a generation”). Stories drawing on horror and on Maine add a personal King touch to this year’s cull of 20, taken from among the 4,000 that series editor Pitlor read last year in periodicals. The book reflects the variety of substance and style and the consistent quality that readers have come to expect from the series, now in its 30th year.

Misery: Collector’s Edition (October 2) will retail for $19.98 and include the following extras: Feature commentary by Rob Reiner, Feature commentary by Screenwriter William Goldman, “Misery Loves Company” featurette, “Marc Shaiman’s Music Misery Tour” featurette,  “Diagnosing Annie Wilkes” featurette (new),  “Advice For The Stalked” featurette(new),  “Profile Of A Stalker” featurette(new),  “Celebrity Stalkers” featurette(new),  “Anti-Stalking Laws” featurette(new), Original Theatrical Trailer, Original Theatrical Teaser.

Winners in the creative arts categories of the 59th annual Primetime Emmy Awards from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences: Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score): “Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King: Battleground,” TNT. Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or Special: “Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King: Battleground,” TNT.

News From The Dead Zone #74

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

It’s been a couple of weeks since the last update, partly because I was away at NECON and partly because there hasn’t been a lot of news to warrant an update. Since today is the release day of the final installation of Gunslinger Born, I thought I’d catch you up on all the little things that have arisen in the interim.

King introduces three of the page-turners he selected for The Best American Short Stories 2007 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre in NY on October 10 at 7:30 pm. Each story delivers what King says he wants all stories to convey: a “sense of emotional involvement, of flipped-out amazement…like a big hot meteor screaming down from the Kansas sky.” Tickets available here.

John Mellencamp was in New York last week to attend workshop performances of The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the musical play he’s written with King.

Here’s a new description of Duma Key, due out Jan 22, 2008:

Duma Key is the engaging, fascinating story of a man who discovers an incredible talent for painting after a freak accident in which he loses an arm. He moves to a ‘new life’ in Duma Key, off Florida’s West Coast; a deserted strip, part beach, part weed-tangled, owned by a patroness of the arts whose twin sisters went missing in the 1920s.Duma Key is where out-of-season hurricanes tears lives apart and a powerful undertow lures lost and tormented souls. Here Freemantle is inspired to paint the amazing sunsets. But soon the paintings become predictive, even dangerous. Freemantle knows the only way forward is to discover what happened to the twin sisters — and what is the secret of the strange old lady who holds the key?

The story is about friendship, about the bond between a father and his daughter. And about memory, truth and art. It is also is a metaphor for the life and inspiration of a writer, and an exploration of the nature, power and influence of fiction.

If you haven’t had a chance to get to the comic shop yet, here’s a preview of Issue 7 of Gunslinger Born. The Gunslinger’s Guidebook is also supposed to come out today, but I’ve heard rumors that a binding error might delay its delivery. Lilja reports that the title of the second story arc is The Long Road Home. The first issue in that arc will be released in February 2008.

Here is an audio recording of The Mist presentation done at Comic-Con last week. Director Frank Darabont revealed that he plans to adapt The Long Walk once he has completed Fahrenheit 451. Since he doesn’t have a script for The Long Walk yet, I think it’s a safe bet we’re a couple of years away from production on that movie.

Eli Roth told Comic-Con that his adaptation of Cell is on hold. The script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski has yet to be completed and he is currently at work on a movie full of fake movie trailers. Roth hopes to enlist King’s help in a cameo role when he finally gets around to making Cell.

Ghost Hunters: Live From the Shining Hotel, which originally aired on SciFi last May, will be released on DVD on October 9, 2007 and is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. Jason, Grant and the Ghost Hunters team revisit the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado for a live Halloween-night investigation.

Yet another King movie is getting the “special edition” DVD treatment. On October 2, a new Collector’s Edition DVD of Misery is coming from MGM Home Video through Fox Home Video. The disc will include a new audio commentary by director Rob Reiner and scripter William Goldman, plus additional behind-the-scenes material.

Rocky Wood warns about a new book showing up that is written by Stephen King…just not that Stephen King. The book is A Master Class in Brand Planning.

Have you been keeping up with The Dead Zone on USA? Season 6 has taken a number of interesting twists and I’m enjoying it. The new sheriff is a handful and Johnny and Sarah are finally getting to pick up where they left off over a decade earlier. Production moved to Montreal, and I’m seeing some influences from that move in the scenery and guest actors.

News From The Dead Zone #73

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Happy Friday the 13th! Someone posted a couple of deleted scenes from Shawshank Redemption on YouTube. They’re interesting, but their ultimate destination, the cutting room floor, was the best place for them, in my opinion.

On July 27th at San Diego Comic-Con, Frank Darabont will be showing clips from The Mist and holding a panel with stars Thomas Jane and Laurie Holden, along with special effects gurus Greg Nicotero (KNB) and Everett Burell (CafeFX). Other cast members may be along for the panel. Darabont is having 3000 teaser posters printed up for the event to hand out at the show.

Here’s the cover for The Science of Stephen King, which will be out at the end of August from Wiley.

Lilja reports that Duma Key will be approximately 592 pages long and that King will narrate the audio edition.

King’s most recent Entertainment Weekly column is about the end of the Harry Potter series: Goodbye, Harry

Here’s a review of the new special collector’s edition DVD of Cujo. A new DVD boxed set this month contains Carrie, The Dark Half, Misery and Needful Things. Three TV adaptations will be released in another boxed set on September 25, including The Stand, Golden Years and The Langoliers.