Couldn’t let such an auspicious date pass without supplying an update. Besides there are things happening worth reporting.
First off, Scribner has launched a dedicated web site to promote Under the Dome. The URL is StephenKingUnderTheDome.com and it is here that we will get the first sneak peeks at the cover art. The first element is supposed to come out today so, keep checking back. There’s also an excerpt from the book, wallpapers, a PDF map of the town of Chester’s Mill, a link to the town’s web page, character bios (including a link to a blog being kept by one of the book’s characters, Scarecrow Joe) and a widget you can add to your web site. The limited edition of the book sold out in just a few hours last week.
For the first time ever, you can to read an excerpt from The Cannibals. This is the 1980s novel that originally inspired Under the Dome.
Children of the Corn debuts on SyFy this Saturday evening. Here’s an article about an advance screening in Iowa. King, who is credited as a co-writer, has seen this movie, producer, director and writer Donald Borchers said. Writers Guild of America regulations state that he could keep his name in the credits, be listed under a pseudonym or take his name off completely. He elected to keep his name in the credits, Borchers proudly said.
The November issue of Playboy will contain a narrative poem called “The Bone Church.” It is described as being “in the tradition of Coleridge and Kipling” and “filled with madness and mayhem.” Should be on news stands in early October.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, but things have been relatively quiet on the King front. However, next week, on September 15th to be exact, the signed/limited edition of Under the Dome goes on sale. The volume will cost. $200.00 plus shipping and handling, and is only available to residents of the United States. A limit of one per customer, and the book is only available here. This edition has a belly band around the jacket, a stamped case, four-color printed endpapers, 27 part title illustrations of characters in the book drawn by renowned New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee, and a ribbon marker. The edition also contains a deck of 27 special collector’s cards featuring the Diffee caricatures. Printed on specialty paper. Shrink-wrapped. The book will ship on November 19, 2009.
An excerpt from Under The Dome appears in the paperback edition of Just After Sunset.
The Stephen King Illustrated Companion should be in Barnes & Nobles’ warehouses by September 25, at which point you should be able to order it via their website. The book will take an additional week or two to make it into stores.
Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with this thread on King’s official site: Under the Dome signing tour. It is the place to get all the late-breaking news about the rules and regulations for getting tickets to see King or get a signed book during his upcoming tour. Many of the events have sold out within minutes of the tickets going on sale, so pay sharp attention. A couple of events are still awaiting finalization of details before official announcements concerning location and ticket purchase are made.
Children of the Corn is coming to the small screen later on this month (Saturday, September 26 at 9pm Eastern/Pacific on SyFy) but in an unprecedented move, Dimension Films is planning its own big-screen remake of the story. No release date has been set, but Ehren Kruger has been tapped to write the script.
Brothers John and Paul Buckholts have secured the rights and are developing an adaptation of “Home Delivery.” The story, as you may recall, takes place on a Maine island where survivors escape from the undead. According to Paul, Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) is attached to direct.
King’s 2-page poem “Mostly Old Men” appears in issue #40 of Tin House magazine. Back issues can be ordered at their website.
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.
King conducted another self-interview last week. He says this about the nearly completed novel, Under the Dome: “It’s twice the length of Duma Key. Over 1500 pages in manuscript. The first draft weighs 19 pounds.”
The October issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine containing the new King story “The New York Times at Bargain Prices” is on news stands now.
Filming is now under way in Tipton and Wilton, Iowa and other locations in the Quad-City area for the remake of Children of the Corn. Among the cast: David Anders (Heroes), Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica) and Daniel Newman as Malachai. The film is scheduled to wrap at the end of September and will premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel next year.
Two newish books that might be of interest to you. The Films Of Stephen King,edited by Tony Magistrale is the first collection of essays assembled on the cinematic adaptations of King’s work. Chapters are written by cinema, television, and cultural studies scholars. Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King an unauthorized biography by Lisa Rogak will be published in January 2009.
Here is JJ Abrams’ most recent comment on a Dark Tower movie: “The Dark Tower is to me every bit as daunting an adaptation as the Lord of the Rings trilogy must have been for Peter Jackson, except we’ve got seven books we’re looking at. And the idea of doing that at the same time Carlton and I are bringing Lost to a close is simply not viable. There are always Dark Tower conversations, but the figuring out of what this will look like as a movie has not begun. If The Dark Tower were in the right hands, I would love to see seven movies executed just right. But you have to get people to see the first one to get them to come and see the second one.”
Here is the Publisher’s Weekly review of Just After Sunset:
In the introduction to his first collection of short fiction since Everything’s Eventual (2002), King credits editing Best American Short Stories (2007) with reigniting his interest in the short form and inducing some of this volume’s contents. Most of these 13 tales show him at the top of his game, molding the themes and set pieces of horror and suspense fiction into richly nuanced blends of fantasy and psychological realism. “The Things They Left Behind,” a powerful study of survivor guilt, is one of several supernatural disaster stories that evoke the horrors of 9/11. Like the crime thrillers “The Gingerbread Girl” and “A Very Tight Place,” both of which feature protagonists struggling with apparently insuperable threats to life, it is laced with moving ruminations on mortality that King attributes to his own well-publicized near-death experience. Even the smattering of genre-oriented works shows King trying out provocative new vehicles for his trademark thrills, notably “N.,” a creepy character study of an obsessive-compulsive that subtly blossoms into a tale of cosmic terror in the tradition of Arthur Machen and H.P. Lovecraft. Culled almost entirely from leading mainstream periodicals, these stories are a testament to the literary merits of the well-told macabre tale.
As you’ve probably heard by now, King’s short story “N.” is being adapted as an animated comic by the team at Marvel. During the month of August, a new 1-2 minute episode of the story appears each weekday, for a total of 25 installments. There are many ways to see this on the web and on cell phones, but why not just check back here each day when the new one goes live?
Or you can wait until November and get the limited collector edition of Just After Sunset, which will be packaged with a DVD containing all 25 episodes. King is optimistic about the video’s prospects. “I think they’re readers,” he says of likely video viewers. But he admits that the venture is “something of a test” whose outcome isn’t certain. The story will also be released as a comic book miniseries in early 2009.
If you’ve been waiting for news about the illustrated edition of The Little Sisters of Eluria plus The Gunslinger coming from Donald M. Grant, here’s the latest: The book has been sent to the printer and is being proofed. There will be a traycased and a slipcased edition, both illustrated by Michael Whelan. It will contain new art as well as the art originally published in the first edition of The Gunslinger. Grant says: “Price, release date and other details will be posted on our web-site and published in our newsletter. We expect that this will be announced in four to six weeks.”
Pocket books will be issuing a 10th-anniversary trade paperback edition of Bag of Bones, featuring bonus text from King this fall. It includes a Q&A with King where he talks about ghosts, secrets, and being alive.
The Children of the Corn remake is gearing up to start filming in the Quad Cities area of Iowa during September. The remake is being written, directed and produced by Donald Borchers, a producer on the original movie, which was filmed in the Sioux City, Iowa, area and spawned numerous sequels. The budget for the production is estimated at $2 million. Borchers says, “It’s no longer requisite to have a happy ending. We wanted to stay faithful to the decisions in [King’s] original story.”
Producer Nick Wechsler has optioned screen rights to “Throttle,” a 60-page novella written by King and Joe Hill. The protagonists are father-son members of a motorcycle gang that’s chased through the desert by an 18-wheel tanker truck. The novella, inspired by the classic Matheson story “Duel,” will be published in 2009 in the tribute anthology He Is Legend. “It has elements of iconic films like Duel and Breakdown, but with a horror element that I want to push,” Wechsler said.
A remake of Children of the Corn is gearing up for production this August in Eastern Central Iowa, produced by Anchor Bay Entertainment for a Sci-Fi Channel premiere. Donald P. Borchers – producer of the original 1984 film – is directing the movie from his own screenplay. The film is currently casting with the following synopsis making the rounds: Former Vietnam vet BURT’s marriage to former prom queen VICKY is on the rocks, but Burt hopes to rekindle their old flame with a second honeymoon driving trip. Unfortunately, their journey takes them into the heart of darkness – a seemingly deserted rural community that conceals a grim secret among its rows of tall corn. It was also revealed that this will be a period piece set in the 1970s.
Quint from Ain’t it Cool News reports from the set of The Mist. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 & Day 4 (with photos). Frank Darabont will provide fans with news about The Mist at the next West Coast edition of FANGORIA’s Weekend of Horrors convention, May 18-20, 2007 at Burbank’s Marriott Airport Hilton.
Here’s a very brief interview with King in the NY Post. Quint’s interview is much longer.
In an interview with Michael Marshall (author of The Straw Men and The Intruders, which I’m currently reading) I found this line: “At the moment, I’m about to start a television adaptation of a Stephen King short story.” After a little detective work, I turned up the name of the story he’s adapting, but I’m not allowed to say anything about it yet since the deal isn’t signed. Stay tuned!
JJ Abrams had this to say to Wired News in a recent interview in response to a question about him directing The Dark Tower: “This is something that we are just now talking about with Stephen, so it’s too early for me to say that we’re even officially doing it yet just because the thing is in the early stages of discussion. I love what the The Dark Tower is. Damon Lindelof is obsessed (with it). We met Stephen, who was just the greatest, and hit it off. What’s exciting to me about it is that it is a very edgy epic. You could . . . say it’s his Tolkien Ring series, but I feel like it has a potential of being a lot more. I think that sense of that great hero, that sort of Western, iconic, almost spaghetti-Western-type hero in this landscape is just an amazing—it feels iconic to me.”
Moviehole.net reports that Dimension is gearing up to remake Children of the Corn. Not a sequel, a remake, with Saw III director Lynn Bousman attached.
In a recent interview with Movies Online, Lorenzo di Bonaventura admitted that they haven’t yet shot the ending for 1408. “It was a really interesting idea because the idea of doing a real time movie in a hotel – one man in a one-bedroom suite for 80 minutes of real time. We didn’t know how you’d come out of that. Like do you need bigger or do you need smaller? What do you need? Or do you feel like he should die or do you feel like he should live? What do you feel? And so we wrote like 15 different endings because Stephen King’s short story doesn’t really have an ending. It just sort of ends and it’s not a cinematic ending. I’ll say it that way. So that’s the last piece of the puzzle, but it’s really fascinating to have done a movie all in a room and we all went sort of crazy.”
Here is the publisher’s description of Blaze, posted at Amazon/UK: “At 6’7″and just under 300 lbs, Clay Blaisdell is one big mother, but his capers were just small-time until he met George Rackley. George introduced him to a hundred cons and one big idea: kidnapping the child of rich parents. The Gerards are filthy rich, and the last twig on the family tree could be worth millions. There’s only one problem: by the time the deal goes down, the brains of the partnership is dead. Or is he? Now Blaze is running into the teeth of a howling storm and the cops are closing in. He’s got a baby as a hostage, and the crime of the century just turned into a race against time in the white hell of the Maine woods.”
The March selection of a signed book through The Haven Foundation will be Dreamcatcher (hardcover). The price will be $60 plus shipping. The books will go on sale beginning at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time on March 12th. They have a total of 25 copies available and will be offering them in small lots at random times throughout the day so that they will not sell out within the first 2 minutes of going on-sale as they did in January. The April selection will be Black House (hardcover) signed by both Stephen and Peter Straub for $80 plus shipping.
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.