We’ve been spoiled in recent years by getting two novels from Stephen King. 2016 will see the end of that streak. The recently published End of Watch is the only book from King we’ll see this year. Later this fall, though, we’ll get Hearts in Suspension, edited by Jim Bishop, a collection of essays by King and others about his time as a student at the University of Maine. The publisher says that King’s essay is quite long (the longest of the set of about ten essays by various authors), and that the essay is “funny, truthful, and an involved work about Steve’s experiences during the 60’s, 70’s and the anti-war work of the Vietnam era, and so much more.”Continue Reading
Not long now until End of Watch comes out, the final installment in the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. King is doing a major tour for this book, with twelve stops between June 7 and June 18. The June 16 event in Albuquerque is of particular interest because George R.R. Martin will be interviewing King. Most of the events have already sold out (some in almost record time), but you can find the list of venues here.
After years of saying “no news yet” with reference to the Dark Tower movie, things are finally moving forward. The current release date is set at February 17, 2017, and the following people have been cast: Idris Elba (Roland), Matthew McConaughey (Man in Black), Jackie Earle Haley (Richard Sayre), Fran Kranz (Pimli Prentiss), Tom Taylor (Jake), Abby Lee (Tirana) and Katheryn Winnick (unknown). Some early photos from the set appeared a few days ago, and some of them disappeared soon after!Continue Reading
Happy New Year — and welcome to the first News from the Dead Zone of 2016. A leap year. A year in which we will see at least one new novel from Stephen King (End of Watch, June) and one major miniseries adaptation (11.22.63). Probably more good stuff, but that’s all we’re sure of at the moment.Continue Reading
It’s not every day that you get a brand new short story from Stephen King for free, right? Well, today is just one of those days. “A Death” will appear in print in the March 9 issue of The New Yorker, but the story is online right now. There’s also a brief Q&A with King on the New Yorker website.
“A Death” will be included in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, King’s next collection, due out in November. Among the stories we expect to see in that collection are “Ur” and “Bad Little Kid,” which will be appearing in English for the first time anywhere. (I reviewed it for Fearnet last year.)
The forthcoming story “Drunken Fireworks,” which will be released in audio on June 30th, will also be in Bazaar. Here’s the publisher’s description: “In this new tour-de-force from Stephen King—unavailable in print or any other format—a salt-of-the-earth Maine native recounts how a friendly annual summer fireworks show rivalry with his neighbor across the lake gradually spirals out of control…with explosive results!”
Before that collection, though, we’ll get Finders Keepers on June 2, the follow-up to Mr. Mercedes. The audio version will once again be read by Will Patton. Here is the publisher’s copy for the novel:
“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, a Salinger-like icon who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.
Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Sauberg finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.
Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.
The Marvel graphic novel adaptation of The Drawing of the Three continues with the release of House of Cards #1 on March 24.
Under the Dome kicks off its third season with a two-hour premiere June 25. Marg Helgenberger has joined the cast for an extended story arc.
Sonar Entertainment will develop Mr. Mercedes as a limited series for television. David E. Kelley (Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, The Practice) is attached to write the script and Jack Bender (Lost) will direct.
James Franco has been cast as Jake Epping for 11/22/63, which will be a 9-hour series on Hulu.
Clarius Entertainment has acquired US rights to Cell, which was produced by Benaroya Pictures and The Genre Company. The plan is to release it theatrically later this year.
True Detective director Cary Fukunaga is on board for a new adaptation of It. At Sundance in February, he was a little vague, saying, “If that movie happens, it will be my first movie made in America.” He says he’s only thought about casting for Pennywise (without revealing who). The kids will mostly be unknowns, he says. He confirmed that the first movie will focus on the kids and a later film will do the adult story. He does not yet have a script for the second film.
If you read back over my previous several posts here, you’ll see that they’ve all been leading up today, the launch of Season 5 of Haven, the Syfy TV series loosely based on The Colorado Kid. This season will consist of 26 episodes, spread over the fall and spring in two 13-episode blocks. I visited the set at the end of June, when they were working on the 7th and 8th episodes. This morning, I had the chance to see tonight’s episode, “See No Evil,” which starts immediately after the final moments of Season 4, at which point William had been tossed through the portal under the lighthouse and Audrey had become her original form of herself, Mara, a trouble-maker in the most literal form.
In the first episode, something destroys the lighthouse and the cavern beneath and, presumably, the portal. The main characters are scattered far and wide before the blast, so for a while no one knows where anyone else is, and some time is spent in getting everyone back together. Nathan is the first one to encounter “Audrey,” but she’s not the woman he loves. Not on the surface, anyway. Mara (and kudos to Emily Rose for creating such a different personality, someone who is as gleefully malign as William) has an agenda, and she’s not going to let anyone stand in her way. She wants to get William back, something she can only achieve by a doorway or, rather, via a thinny, which will be a familiar concept to Dark Tower fans. However, something vexes her plans. And Nathan hasn’t given up hope that Audrey is still inside somewhere and he can bring her back.
On another front, Duke is trying to find Jennifer, who is the only lighthouse person unaccounted for. And, of course, there’s a Trouble, which manifests itself in people having their eyes and/or mouths sewn shut with a leather cord that defies all efforts to remove it. Though everyone tries to impress on Dwight the importance of reining in Mara, he knows this Trouble has the potential to be deadly, so that’s his #1 priority. The repercussions of Audrey giving Duke back his Trouble in the penultimate episode last season also start to come to light, and it’s a doozy. And, based on the previews for the season I’ve seen so far, there are going to be callbacks to a lot of past Troubles. Mara made ’em, so she could potentially use them as weapons to achieve her nefarious goals.
And I’m very worried about Dave Teagues. Is he having morphine-induced nightmares or terrifying memories?
Interested in learning more about the origins of the Troubles? There’s a 16-page mini-comic in the Season 4 DVD, and a web series called Haven Origins coming on September 12. Here’s a trailer for it.
King will embark on a six-city book tour to promote the release of Revival. He will appear in New York City (Nov 11), Washington, DC (Nov 12), Kansas City, MO (Nov 13), Wichita, KS (Nov 14), Austin, TX (Nov 15) and South Portland, ME (Nov 17). Further details regarding the itinerary will be posted on King’s official website on September 15th.
Issue 1 of The Prisoner, the first cycle adapting The Drawing of the Three from Marvel, came out this week. For the first time, these comics are being offered digitally as well as in print.
The PBS series Finding Your Roots will feature King in its first episode of the new season on September 23. In this promo, King is shown a photo of his father and in this one, he learns more about his distant ancestors.
Big Driver will premiere on Lifetime on Saturday, October 18 at 8pm ET/PT. The movie stars Maria Bello, Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett,Will Harris and Ann Dowd (from The Leftovers). The script is by Richard Christian Matheson, with Mikael Salomon directing. Here is a teaser video.
Mr. Mercedes will be a 10-episode TV series. Jack Bender will be on the production team.
CBS has ordered a “put pilot” (a serious commitment) from Warner Bros. TV for a series based on “The Things They Left Behind.” It is described as a supernatural procedural drama in which an unlikely pair of investigators carry out the unfinished business of the dead.
Mark Romanek will direct Overlook Hotel, the prequel to The Shining.
Now that Cell has wrapped, King teased what he could about the film. “The movie is not totally close to the original screenplay that I wrote,” he said. “But I’ll tell you what, the end of it is so goddamn dark and scary. It’s really kind of a benchmark there.”
The Stand director Josh Boone says: I finished writing the script maybe a month ago. Stephen [King] absolutely loved it. It’s, I think, the first script ever approved by him. [It’ll be] a single version movie. Three hours. It hews very closely to the novel…I don’t imagine we would shoot the movie until next Spring at the earliest. His full comments are available at Collider.
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.
In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.
Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.
Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.
This is just one of two novels we’ll see next year, the other being Revival. There’s a new King short story, “Summer Thunder,” in the CD anthology Turn Down the Lights. Editor Rich Chizmar says it “might be one of the most heartbreaking post-apocalyptic tales we’ve ever read.”
King joined Twitter late last week. Within minutes he had 30,000 followers and the number has since climbed to nearly 200,000. You don’t need to join Twitter to see his feed, though. Just click here.
Samuel L. Jackson will play Tom McCourt in the movie adaptation of Cell, joining John Cusack for the second time (1408). There were some amusing follow-up articles in which Jackson confessed that he didn’t know that his character was gay in the novel. The film will be directed by Tod “Kip” Williams (Paranormal Activity 2). Production is scheduled to begin in January.
Long-time King fan Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) plans to adapt Lisey’s Story. King had a cameo in Boone’s debut, Stuck in Love. Boone talks about how King responded when he sent some books to be autographed when he was 12 in this article.
Add another title to the list of remakes or reworkings. Bob Weinstein is developing a proposed 10-part series with Frank Darabont, based on Dimension’s film version of The Mist. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) is in talks to direct Pet Sematary. The day after it was announced that Scott Cooper was considering Christian Bale for the theatrical version of The Stand, the director left the project. Paul Greengrass is now being courted to help the film. Cary Fukunaga is currently attached to the remake of It.
Next week is going to be busy in the Stephen King universe. Joyland and the all-star soundtrack for Ghost Brothers of Darkland County both come out on June 4. My review of Joyland can be seen here. It will also appear in issue 70 of Cemetery Dance magazine, together with an interview with Charles Ardai, Hard Case Crime’s publisher.
Here are the media appearances that are slated for next week to promote the two releases. Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett will be involved with some of them.
Monday, June 3rd:The Today Show and Meet the Creators (a live event at Apple’s NY Soho store that will be broadcast later in the week)
Tuesday, June 4th: Morning Joe and Charlie Rose
Wednesday, June 5th: All Things Considered and Late Show with David Letterman
Thursday, June 6th: The Colbert Report
Friday, June 7th: SiriusXM Live Conversation with Mojo Nixon
Concord Music group has announced that Ghost Brothers of Darkland County will be released as an illustrated digital book for iBooks on June 3rd. The comprehensive multimedia edition fuses the production’s story, soundtrack, artwork and video extras into a complete interactive experience. The soundtrack is streaming live at The Wall Street Journal.
That’s not all that’s new. “Afterlife,” the story King read in its entirety at UMass Lowell last December, is in the “summer reading” issue of Tin House magazine. You can get it from the various online bookstores, but it’s only $15 straight from the publisher, with free media mail shipping.
Then, on June 17, Coliloquy is publishing the eBook Hard Listening, which has a collection of essays and e-mail exchanges from members of the Rock Bottom Remainders. The iPad/iBooks version is enhanced and interactive, with videos and audio files embedded in the text. There’s a great video of everyone in the green room getting a laught out of Mitch Albom’s Elvis wig. Steve is rolling on the floor with laughter. It’s a funny and fun book. Also of note, there’s a new King short story. However, I won’t reveal the title because three other authors were tasked with writing a story in King’s style and readers get a chance to vote on which one they think is the real King. After you vote, you can see how other readers voted and, separately, how other Rock Bottom Remainders voted. All author proceeds from the sales of Hard Listening will be donated to offset the late Kathi Kamen Goldmark’s medical bills. You can read an excerpt here.
PS Publishing has added two more 30th anniversary King editions to their roster, in addition to the already announced Christine and Pet Sematary. In 2014 they will issue Thinner and Skeleton Crew. There’s a strong Cemetery Dance angle here, too. Rich Chizmar has written the afterword for Christine, and I wrote one for Pet Sematary.
Chris Evans (Captain America) has been cast as the lead in Tom Holland’s adaptation of “The Ten O’Clock People.” Filming is expected to begin in Atlanta this fall. The John Cusack film Cell is also scheduled to begin filming in September. Tod “Kip” Williams (Paranormal Activity 2) is directing.
I attended the Dollar Baby Film Festival that was held in conjunction with Comicpalooza in Houston last weekend. Here’s my report on the event at FEARnet.
The end is drawing nigh. The end of the world? Pshaw. The end of the year, certainly. This will probably be my last update for 2012, and what better day to do it than on 12/12/12?
Last Friday, King made an appearance at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. During the day, he talked to a creative writing class and that evening he took part in a conversation with faculty member and writer Andre Dubus III. Dubus interviewed him for the first 30 minutes, and King took questions from the audience during the final 30 minutes. In the middle, he treated the audience to the world premiere of a new short story called “Afterlife,” which is not scheduled for publication at this time. Earlier in the day, he talked at length about the novel he is currently working on, describing the genesis and how it developed from a short story idea into a 500 page manuscript. Mr. Mercedes is more of a mystery novel and it has no supernatural elements. You can find video of the entire event at the UMass Lowell website.
Look for the rare King short story “The Glass Floor” in issue #69 of Cemetery Dance magazine. This is the Glenn Chadbourne issue, and my buddy Glenn has put together special illustrations for this creepy tale, King’s first professional sale, originally published in 1967 and only reprinted once since then.
The long-delayed soundtrack for Ghost Brothers of Darkland County will be released on March 19th, 2013. The (enhanced CD) Standard Edition features the complete soundtrack, dialog excerpts and digital libretto. The (2CD/1DVD) Deluxe Edition contains the complete soundtrack (with and without dialog), deluxe art work, handwritten lyrics, specially printed libretto and the “Making of Ghost Brothers” mini-documentary DVD featuring in-depth interviews with King, Mellencamp and Burnett along with other bonus material. Digital editions for tablets, smartphones and e-readers will allow users to interact with the complete soundtrack + digital libretto, as well as exclusive video and graphic materials. King and Mellencamp are still exploring the possibility of bringing the show to Broadway, and King thinks that it might make a good movie, too.
Under the Dome will be a series on CBS next summer. This isn’t going to be a literal translation, though, and neither is it going to be a miniseries. Writer Brian K. Vaughan is using the novel as a launch pad for an open-ended series that could potentially continue beyond the initial 13-week run. Perhaps it will be something like The Dead Zone series, which ran for several years, or like SyFy’s Haven, which has been renewed for a fourth season.
John Cusack will play the lead in an adaptation of Cell from Cargo Entertainment. Richard Saperstein, who produced 1408, will co-produce this feature. No word on when production might begin. And in other casting news, Chandler Riggs (The Walking Dead) and Joel Courtney (Super 8) are joining the cast of Mercy, a feature based on “Gramma.”
Ben Affleck is having a hard time wrapping his head around his proposed adaptation of The Stand. “I like the idea,” he told GQ. “It’s like The Lord of the Rings in America. And it’s about how we would reinvent ourselves as a society. If we started all over again, what would we do?” The film is still on his radar, but it won’t be the next thing he works on. “The script is not ready yet, it needs a lot more work.”
Jonathan Demme had sufficient problems with 11/22/63 that he decided to step away from the project. “This is a big book, with lots in it,” he told Indiewire. “And I loved certain parts of the book for the film more than Stephen did. We’re friends, and I had a lot of fun working on the script, but we were too apart on what we felt should be in and what should be out of the script. I had an option and I let it go. But I hope it’s moving forward, I really want to see that movie.”
The San Francisco Opera will present the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne on Sept. 18 next year, the first of six performances running through October 4. The libretto is by J.D. McClatchy. Mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick will sing the title character, soprano Elizabeth Futral will perform Vera Donovan, Susannah Biller the daughter Selena St. George, Wayne Tigges the husband Joe St. George, and Greg Fedderly will be Detective Thibodeau. George Manahan conducts and James Robinson directs.
Remember that famous “Study, Dammit” cover from the Maine Campus? The one adapted at King’s website to say “Read the FAQ, Dammit”? Well, the original artwork was discovered recently and you can now purchase copies, with proceeds going to support both The Maine Campus and scholarships at the University of Maine. Visit http://www.studydammit.com/.
Cemetery Dance announced the publication of my signed, limited edition chapbook, Twenty-First Century King recently. The 50-page booklet compiles my reviews of every book King has published in the 21st century, starting with “Riding the Bullet” and ending with The Wind Through the Keyhole. That adds up to 21 reviews and 21,000 words of text. Seems like a theme—the mystical number 21. There are only 750 copies. They make great stocking stuffers for the King fan in your life.
And, last but not least, I recently announced my third book, The Dark Tower Companion, to be published by New American Library (Penguin) in April 2013. This massive companion is 50% longer than The Road to the Dark Tower. It covers not only the eight books in the series, but also the Marvel graphic novel adaptations. I interviewed King for the book, along with Robin Furth, Richard Isanove (colorist), Peter David (script), Jae Lee (artist) and most of the subsequent artists. I also, much to my great delight, got to talk with Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman about how they plan to adapt the series. The book features a comprehensive glossary and two maps drawn by none other than…me! It will be published as a trade paperback and a Kindle eBook, both of which can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
Among the news items arising from King’s public appearances this week:
Under the Dome may be an HBO miniseries. The rights to the novel were acquired by Steven Spielberg’s production company
King has written a screenplay for Cell, so he thinks that’s going to happen. He said that he had gotten so many complaints about the ending of the book that he changed everything.
He still plans to work on a sequel to Black House, though nothing is definite at this point
He wonders what became of Danny Torrance
He has an idea for a new Dark Tower book, the working title of which will be THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE. He has not yet started this book and anticipates that it will be a minimum of eight months before he is able to begin writing it.
King talks about his 10 longest novels in this combination print interview/podcast at Time.com. Note that the print section is shorter than what he actually says on the individual audio files.
The folks at McSweeney’s are producing a celebration of newsprint, a reimagined newspaper for their next issue. The 380-page San Francisco Panorama will be out in early December, and features an essay by King about the World Series. Check out the tease here.
JJ Abrams reinforces an earlier statement that he and Damon Lindelof are not working on a Dark Tower movie adaptation.”The ‘Dark Tower’ thing is tricky,” he said. “It’s such an important piece of writing. The truth is that Damon and I are not looking at that right now.” [read more]
More news about King’s publicity tour for Under the Dome is emerging. Both the New York and Portsmouth events are sold out, according to recent reports. Details about other events have not been made public. Check King’s message board for the most up-to-date information about the tour. The DC/Baltimore and Atlanta events will be straight signings, with no on-stage event, whereas for the others King will presign 250 books that will be made available for sale to attendees, although there may well be more attendees than books for some events.
November 10 – NYC (sold out)
November 11 – D.C. or Baltimore
November 13 – Atlanta
November 16 – Sarasota
November 18 – Minneapolis
November 19 – Toronto
December 1 – Portsmouth, NH (sold out)
December 2 – Manchester, VT
King is quoted in this article about the timing of the release of electronic versions of books: Stephen King, whose novel Under the Dome is being published in November by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, said in an e-mail message that “we’re all thinking and talking about electronic publishing and how to deal with these issues,” adding, “but I can’t say anything right now.” The electronic version of the book isn’t scheduled to be released until early 2010.
Scribner will publish two Collector’s Editions of Under the Dome. The regular Collector’s Edition will have a special jacket with a belly band, a stamped case, four-color printed endpapers, a ribbon marker, and will contain a set of 27 special trading cards featuring drawings of characters from the book (drawn by cartoonist Matthew Diffee). These drawings will also be featured in the book—as a frontispiece image and on the 26 part title pages. The book will be shrink-wrapped and Scribner will print only 25,000 copies of this edition, priced at $75. Scribner is also offering 1,500 copies of a signed, limited Collector’s Edition. This contains all the special elements listed above, plus the book will be signed by the author. This is priced at $200 and will only be sold through their web site. “We’re doing this to generate additional revenue,” says Susan Moldow, publisher of Simon & Schuster’s Scribner imprint. “We used to have a regular business of signed first edition mysteries, but we stopped because there wasn’t an additional mark-up…This is fighting back against the disappearance of the book as an object,” she adds.
An Under the Dome excerpt will be in a fall issue of Entertainment Weekly.
Rand Holston at CAA is currently out with the film rights to Under the Dome. According to Publishers Weekly, the book’s heft may be making it tough for Hollywood execs to see the story working as a feature; one insider said all the activity in the book is causing some to think Dome makes more sense as a miniseries.
Marvel Comics and Random House’s Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group have reached an agreement to allow The Stand: Captain Trips to be distributed in the general bookstore market beginning in January 2010. The hardcover omnibus was originally released exclusively through comics shops in March after Marvel acknowledged that it did not have permission from the book’s original publisher, Doubleday, now a part of Random House, to distribute it to the general bookstores.
Issue #3 of Fall of Gilead is now out.
The special B&W issue 0 of The Talisman was distributed at Comic-Con. The standard version of this prequel will be available in comic shops in October. The first issue of the first six-issue arc, The Road of Trials, will also appear in October. The current plan is for a total of three arcs, each about six issues.
John Harrison, whose Clive Barker-based feature Book of Blood premiered at Montreal’s Fantasia film festival recently, is writing a four-hour miniseries based on Cell for the Weinstein Company, which had originally planned to turn the book into a theatrical feature (with Eli Roth attached at one point to direct), but decided to abandon those plans and will be shopping the project to networks instead. Having served as assistant director/composer on the Creepshow and helmed Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (including an adaptation of “Cat from Hell”), Harrison considers Cell one of King’s best recent books, with opening chapters that will make an incredible first 30 minutes on screen. The filmmaker adds that he doesn’t see this as a zombie story so much as a Village of the Damned-esque chiller, and enjoys the fact that the infected populace possesses a hive mentality. While he has not been officially contracted to direct, he would certainly like to.
The remake of Children of the Corn will premiere on SyFy (formerly SciFi network) on Saturday, September 26 at 9pm Eastern/Pacific.
Paris Review is now accepting online orders for the Fall issue, which contains the new King story Ayana. Stay tuned, too, in the next few weeks for the December issue of Playboy containing “Mute.” F&SF magazine is tentatively scheduling the publication of a new 3100-word story for the October/November 2008 issue of their magazine. The title of this story is still under consideration.
Actors Judith Ivey and Kelli O’Hara will read short fiction from The Best American Short Stories 2007 on Tuesday, November 6 at 8PM at Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut. For more information or reservations visit www.westportplayhouse.org. Here’s a Harvard Crimson article about King’s visit to Cambridge to promote the anthology. Also check out this NPR radio interview.
Eli Roth recently told the folks at MTV that he hasn’t yet finished the script for Cell. “I’ve realized that I can’t multitask in the writing department; I can only kind of do one thing at a time. So right now I’m working on [a guest-director episode of] Heroes, and then I’ll work on Trailer Trash, and then we’ll see about Cell after that.”
Mick Garris said the he hopes to include an adaptation of “Home Delivery” in the new NBC anthology series Fear Itself that he will be producing. Garris originally prepared this story for the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series but Masters of Horror obligations pulled him away.
Leonard Lopate interviewed King today about The Best American Short Stories 2007. A podcast of the interview is available here. There’s an article in The Harvard Crimson about his appearance in Cambridge earlier this week and one in the NYU News about his New York appearance.
Look for King to appear in an ESPN ad, preparing copy for anchor John Anderson. “I think it was the Red Sox’s clutch hitting, not that New York was possessed by demons,” Anderson deadpans as King rips the copy out of Anderson’s hands, throws it in the garbage and begins typing again.
Eli Roth has this to say in an interview with MTV: “The latest with Cell is that the script is not finished. I’ve realized that I can’t multitask in the writing department; I can only kind of do one thing at a time. So right now I’m working on [a guest-director episode of] Heroes, and then I’ll work on Trailer Trash, and then we’ll see about Cell after that.
Frank Darabont will receive the Kodak Award for Excellence in Filmmaking at ShowEast’s closing gala. He will also screen The Mist tonight.
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.
This is 1408 day, and the movie has been drawing mostly favorable advanced reviews, and a ton of them at that. King publicly endorsed the movie with this message posted on his web site:
It’s a pleasure to be able to recommend 1408, the Dimension Pictures adaptation of my story. It stars John Cusack and opens this Friday. This is a genuinely disquieting movie—the damn thing gets under your skin and just CRAWLS there. For one thing, what could be more terrifying than a man haunted by The Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun?” I doubt if you’ll hear much screaming in the theater (I could be wrong about that), but a lot of people are going to be sleeping with the lights on when it’s over.
Eli Roth won’t be directing Cell any time soon. “I most likely will take the rest of the year to write my other projects. Which means I wouldn’t shoot until the spring, and you wouldn’t see a film directed by me in the cinemas until at least next fall (2008).”
Here’s a review of The Dead Zone season 5 DVD set. Episode 2 of Season 6 airs on Sunday night. It’s called “Ego”: Johnny’s relationship with new Cleaves Mills sheriff Anna Turner (Cara Buono) gets off to a rocky start when she tells him that her department will no longer need his help. But when Johnny has a vision of her shooting a female psychiatrist, he launches an investigation despite her objections.
Here’s a report from the Dark Tower panel at HeroesCon. For people who’ve been curious about sales numbers for the series, this site is the place to go. Gunslinger Born #4 sold an estimated 131,753 copies in May. (Issue #3 sold 132,481 copies in April.)
Tonight’s the night for “A Toast to Stephen King,” featuring Margaret Atwood, Clive Barker and George Stroumboulopoulos. The event takes place at 7:30 p.m. in John Bassett Theatre, 255 Front St. W., Toronto. King is presigning a limited number of books for the event, but there’s been no word yet about how they will be distributed. He will not be signing any other books.
The issue of Esquire featuring the new, long story “The Gingerbread Girl” is starting to show up in stores. Angelina Jolie is on the cover. “The Gingerbread Girl” takes up over 20 pages of the issue.