Well, here it is—the day we’ve all been waiting for. Not only does Lisey’s Story come out today, but the DVD set of Nightmares and Dreamscapes is also available starting today. The London Times has a Stephen King special that has reviews, excerpts, interviews, commentary and an exclusive PODcast. King is interviewed in a Financial News segment.
Here is a batch of reviews, which you should read at your own risk. Some of them will likely contain discussions of plot that may spoil the fun of reading Lisey’s Story:
Thomas Jane will star in The Mist, directed by Frank Darabont from his own script. “It’s a project Stephen King and I have been talking about doing for almost 20 years now. In fact, it almost was my first directing project many years ago, but I went classy and did The Shawshank Redemption instead. It’s time to get down and dirty and make a nasty little character-driven gut-punch horror movie,” Darabont said. Read Darabont’s longer statement about the adaptation at Ain’t It Cool News. Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein and production president Richard Saperstein have set a spring production start for the film, which Darabont will produce with Castle Rock’s Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer. Contrary to early reports, the film will not be shot in black and white. Jane said, “Nah, this is gonna be all-color and pretty amazing. I can’t wait.”
AICN reports that Eli Roth has chosen writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to pen the screenplay of Cell.
Subterranean Press has an interesting offer as part of their 10th anniversary edition of The Green Mile. If you buy any version of the commemorative six-volume set directly from them, you’ll get your name included in a special section included at the end of Volume Six—Those Who Walked the Green Mile—that lists all those who met their end seated in Ol’ Sparky. If you’ve already ordered this special edition, you’re already on the list.
In a movie round-up article at MTV, Thomas Jane (Dreamcatcher) says, “Frank Darabont and I are supposed to be doing Stephen King’s The Mist.” No schedule or anything, but it’s the first indication that someone beyond Darabont is attached to the project.
Another UK tour update: Wednesday Nov. 8th: 1-2 PM Signing at Waterstones, Leadenhall Market, London.
Also, here are the details of King’s appearance in Los Angeles: We love Stephen King because he makes the ordinary extraordinary in every possible way. His books turn on ordinary situations, and feature characters that we all can understand—who face the inexplicable. From high school in Carrie to his new novel, Lisey’s Story, King brings fear, from the unconscious to the visceral, right to the surface. He has stated that he’s the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries, and we couldn’t disagree more. Big Macs are empty calories indeed, and furthermore, not recommended for anyone’s health. King is another story entirely—because the best stories are the best medicine, and no one is a better storyteller. David Ulin is the editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and is the editor and author of several award-winning books. Tickets are $20. Make a Reservation to this Event The Fine Arts Theatre is located at 8556 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. It is: 1 block West of La Cienega Blvd.; On the South side of Wilshire Blvd.
No Quills awards for King this year, but the MWA (Mystery Writers of America) endowed upon him the highest award bestowed on an individual by the organization: the coveted Grand Master Award.
I hear from Brian Freeman that the final production hardcovers of Lisey’s Story are a delight to behold. The shovel depicted on the dust jacket is a die cut, revealing a portion of the full-cover wraparound art that is physically on the book’s boards themselves. I’ve seen a few books recently that are using similar effects—one by Jonathan Kellerman springs to mind. This design makes for attractive books with or without the dust jacket in place. According to the artist’s web site: “Readers will soon discover the significance of the shovel and later understand the image revealed through the di-cut. King fans should find this amongst his best work.”
More details about King’s UK visit have been released. He will appear at Battersea park Events Arena on November 7th at 7.00pm in an event sponsored by The Times, Hodder & Stoughton and Waterstone’s. Ticket information available at King’s web site. Information is also available concerning his November 10th appearance.
This is Lisey’s Story month. You can hear an excerpt of Mare Winningham performing the audio version here.
Wouldn’t Christine look great parked in your garage? One of the sixteen cars used during filming of the John Carpenter adaptation is up for auction on eBay. The buy-it-now price is a mere $175,000. As one news report said: “Even though on film they rebuilt themselves, only three actually survived, including the one now being offered. She’s been smashed, crashed, and burned but keeps coming back. Hell hath no fury like Christine.”
King had an essay in The Washington Post yesterday entitled The Writer’s Life. You can read it online. He has columns in two consecutive issues of Entertainment Weekly. One is a special two-page piece about the series LOST, while the more recent one tackles Nancy Grace, drawing comparisons to the Richard Bachman novel The Running Man, though I haven’t found either online yet.
Newsarama reports that comic stores will be giving away copies of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born Sketchbook starting in December. It features character designs, penciled pages, commentary, and a primer on the world of the Dark Tower. The Sketchbook comes out two months before the Marvel Dark Tower graphic novel launches.
King’s official web site now lists four UK dates for his book tour to promote Lisey’s Story. The first event is November 7th at Borders Books and Music, Oxford Street, London. The only other confirmed event is November 9th at Asda supermarket in Watford, but he will also be making appearances on the 8th and 10th.
Note that the September 1st entry (below) originally said that John Irving would be appearing with King, when in fact it should have said John Grisham.
More Lisey’s Story reviews are starting to appear. Publishers Weekly gives the book a starred review, and the print issue that contains the review has a short interview with King that you can also read online here. You can read reviews from Kirkus, PW, Booklist and Nora Roberts at the Lisey’s Story page at Amazon.
Stephen King and John Irving plan to appear at a Sept. 24 fundraiser for fellow writer Jim Webb’s Democratic U.S. Senate campaign at the 1,000-seat Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, VA. “It will be a lot of fun,” Grisham said of the event at which Webb will speak and also read from some of his works. Grisham said he will talk for a few minutes about the campaign and politics before reading from his new nonfiction book, An Innocent Man, due out in October. Tickets for the Webb fundraiser will be tiered at $100, $500 and $2,100, Grisham said. Webb is challenging U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Va., in the November election. Allen’s campaign manager disparaged the Webb event, saying, “Since his whole campaign is based on fiction, having two fellow fiction novelists campaign for him is not a surprise.”
Bett’s Bookstore has just taken delivery of a huge Stephen King collection to sell on behalf of a collector. Proprietor Stu Tinker has listed the lot on eBay to generate some interest in it. Check out the Betts web page next week for an inventory listing of the 1600+ items, some of which are extremely rare.
Cell was nominated in the science fiction/fantasy/horror category of the second annual Quills awards. Through Sept. 30, voters can make their picks online at http://www.quillsvote.com and at http://www.quills.msnbc.com. The awards will be handed out at an Oct. 10 ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History. Admission will range from $1,000 for a single ticket to $75,000 for a “Platinum Sponsorship.”
TNT’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes and ABC’s Desperation were both nominated in the “Killer Television” category of the Chainsaw Awards. The first-ever televised fuse Fangoria Chainsaw Awards will be held Sunday, October 15th at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles and will premiere on fuse Sunday, October 22nd at 9:30 p.m. EST.
People in the UK will get a chance to see the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series on the digital channel Five US, launching October 16, airing daily between 16:00 and 01:00.
Picture a hand reaching through the earth from beyond the grave to grip at someone visiting the cemetery. Yes, like that famous hand, Carrie is rising from the dead to a second life as a musical. Originally a three-day wonder on Broadway, this new version is called Carrie: A Period Piece. It will debut Off-Broadway at P.S. 122 on Dec. 6 and run through Dec. 30. “It will definitely be very black comedy,” Theatre Couture leader Eric Jackson told Playbill.com. “But that’s inherent in the novel. It’s a very serious take on the pressures and pain of adolescence. But Carrie is also so well known in our culture; we all know the story. Everybody feels it’s their story. Because of that collective unconscious, there’s a way to have fun with the story. There will be comedy and camp, and some horror, and maybe a little blood.” Drag performer legend Sherry Vine will star and Basil Twist (Symphonie Fantastique) will create special puppets.
Classify this one under the heading “wild, unsubstantiated rumor.” Cinescape onlineis reporting that Michael J. Fox is up for a role in DreamWorks’ long-delayed The Talisman. Quoting a source by the name of Scooper Squirrel (Deep Throat was already taken, apparently) “Steven Spielberg is apparently involved with it—in some capacity. I have no idea—either do they—whether he’s going to be playing the main role, or just a role, it was something he apparently mentioned in a meeting….in conversation… and nothing more was said of it.” There you have it—it doesn’t get any more reliable or specific than that!
Peter Straub tells me that the broadcast date of his second appearance as blind detective Pete Braust on One Life to Live is September 21.
Those who could not attend the star-studded literary event at Radio City Music Hall last week, “AN EVENING WITH HARRY, CARRIE & GARP” will now be available to watch free of charge in its entirety for two days only. On Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11 MSN will stream the event at http://video.msn.com/, and beginning on Saturday, August 12 until the end of the month, highlights will be available on demand. MSN will enable viewers to make contributions to The Haven Foundation and Doctors Without Borders. From the description of presenters, it sounds like this is the Wednesday night show. Check out my message board for links to some recent reports from youngsters and Rowling fans.
A new Special Edition 2-disc DVD of The Green Mile is scheduled for release on November 14. Extensive new bonus materials include Miracles and Mystery: Creating The Green Mile, aninterview with Tom Hanks, additional scenes, makeup and screen tests, and commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont. See full details here.
Joe Camillieri reports that King’s official web site now has information about upcoming events related to Lisey’s Story. The SF event is showing sold out, but since it was just announced I’d recommend checking back to see if this is real or not. More events will be announced, so check that page (and this one) often.
There has been a spate of rumors alleging that George Clooney will be starring in Paramount Pictures’ remake of Pet Sematary announced recently. The report originated with Bloody Disgusting, where a follow-up stated that Clooney’s publicist denied the report.
I was at the August 1 Harry, Carrie and Garp event, which featured readings by King (“The Revenge of Lardass Hogan”), John Irving (the Christmas pageant scene from A Prayer for Owen Meany) and JK Rowling (a scene from the sixth Harry Potter novel). Special guests on Tuesday included Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Bates, Andre Braugher, Jon Stewart and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, who moderated the Q&A. King and Irving declared themselves the “support act” for Rowling, who definitely had younger and more vocal fans in the audience. The two men had the advantage of reading hilarious passages, which resulted in more audience feedback during their respective readings. Irving and Rowling, however, were asked the more intelligent questions. There are a few user-posted photos from the event at my message board. Reports appeared many places, but the two best I’ve seen so far are here and here. The event was filmed for a webcast on MSN later this month.
Mark Haber, director of Crouch End, tells me that the DVD of Nightmares & Dreamscapes will contain an extended version of the episode because it was originally supposed to get the “no commercial” treatment like Battleground. When that plan changed, the episode was edited down to 44.5 minutes from its original length.
My buddy Glenn Chadbourne has been announced as the third illustrator for the PS Publishing limited edition of The Colorado Kid. More copies of the traycased edition have become available because King has authorized an additional 48 copies for a total of 100. Each artist will illustrate 33 of these. This edition will feature a gallery at the rear of the book containing all eighteen pieces of artwork, in full color – that’s the three dust-jackets and three sets of five interior pieces. “We will be producing a one-hundredth traycased copy which will have something extra special inside – we haven’t decided exactly what it’ll be yet, but it will be a bona fide one-off: so that means that the author will not be getting a copy and PS will not be getting a copy. The book will be auctioned on the PS website with all proceeds (that means no deduction for production expenses etc) going to the Macular Degeneration Foundation.”
Grey’s Anatomy’s Kate Walsh has joined the cast of 1408. The actress (who plays Mrs. Dr. Shepherd, the wife of “McDreamy”) plays John Cusack’s ex-wife and mother of his young daughter. Shooting starts this summer in the U.K. for a 2007 release.
Just one day to go before the debut of the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series on TNT. Here are some promo clips from the network. I’ve read one report that the DVD release will be on October 24th from Warner Home Video. The three-disk set will feature “an unaired extended episode starring William H. Macy” (no further info available), commentary tracks with the cast and crew, along with exclusive documentaries. The cover art for the DVD pack is here. Scroll down to my June 12th entry for a preview of the series.
King’s newest short story “Memory” is now available in Tin Hut magazine, which is available at the magazine stands of many major chain bookstores or can be purchased directly from the publisher using PayPal. He debuted the story at an event at Florida State University several months ago. It is about a man who’s been in an accident and has memory problems when he recovers.
Last Sunday’s Parade magazine featured a profile/interview with King. You can read the article online at the Parade web site.