News From the Dead Zone #133

Look at the Dark Tower. It’s a movie. Now it’s a TV series. Now it’s a movie again. Now it’s both.

Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television issued a press release this week detailing their creative plan for an adaptation of the Dark Tower series, including related short stories and the Marvel comic series. Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman are planning for the first film in the trilogy to be immediately followed by a television series that will bridge the second film. After the second film, the television series will pick up, allowing viewers to explore the adventures of the protagonist as a young man as a bridge to the third film and beyond. Here’s the official page at King’s web site tracking the project.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, King said, “I always thought it would take more than a single movie, but I didn’t see this solution coming — i.e., several movies and TV series. It was Ron [Howard] and Akiva [Goldsman]‘s idea. Once it was raised, I thought at once it was the solution.” He also joked that the cast of the Twilight series should be considered for various roles and suggested himself for the voice of Blaine the mono.

Don’t forget to check out the September 21 episode of the FX series Sons of Anarchy, which will feature King’s cameo as a guy named Bachman.

The comparatively rare King short story “The Crate,” which was adapted as one of the installments in Creepshow, will be reprinted in Shivers VI from CD Publications. (I also have a story in this massive anthology, by the way.)

News From the Dead Zone #132

Still a few months to go before Full Dark, No Stars is published. However, Scribner has posted an excerpt from “A Good Marriage” which should whet your appetite for the collection. Craig Wasson (who was the reader for Blockade Billy) and Jessica Hecht will read the audio version, to be released simultaneously with the hardcover. There was a report that King would narrate introductions to each story, but the galleys don’t have story intros, just an afterward.

Remember Wilma (“Just call me Billy, everyone does”) from Creepshow, as portrayed by Adrienme Barbeau? That segment was based on the short story “The Crate,” originally published in Gallery magazine and later collected in a couple of anthologies around 1980-81. The story will see the light of day again in the CD anthology Shivers VI, which is bound for the printer next week. In addition to this relatively rare story, the anthology contains a Peter Straub novella and fiction from other familiar names, including yours truly.

King’s cameo appearance on Sons of Anarchy will air on FX on his birthday, September 21. His character’s last name is an homage to Richard Bachman.

King will be appearing at The New Yorker Festival on October 2nd, 2010. He will be part of a panel discussion on vampires along with Noel Carroll, Matt Reeves, and Melissa Rosenberg, moderated by Joan Acocella. Click here for more information about the Festival.

After the current Gunslinger series finishes from Marvel, there will be a single issue in November focusing on Sheemie Ruiz called Sheemie’s Tale. “This is the story of one of the more powerful breakers in Thunderclap: The mentally handicapped, formerly mute young man known as Sheemie. He possesses the awesome power to shatter the very Beams that hold the Dark Tower in place—the fulcrum of existence itself. But Sheemie does not want to destroy the underpinnings of reality. He is in the prison of Devar-Toi and all he wants is his friends—his ka-tet to come for him. And one of them is coming for him even now. One of them known as the last gunslinger, Roland Deschain. And not all the horrors of Thunderclap will stand in his way! Presented by those twin titans of Marvel’s Dark Tower books—writer Robin Furth and artist Richard Isanove. It’s a journey of searching and salvation you won’t soon forget.”

Time is running out to get your photo submissions in to Stephen’s Empire.

Here’s a neat story about a Canadian musician who got permission to set the words of Sara Tidwell from Bag of Bones to music: Stephen King takes shining to Toronto blues singer.

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