The first time Billy Summers killed a man, he was barely twelve. By the time he’s eighteen, he’s a sniper with the Marines in Iraq, where he notches up another two dozen kills. Instead of re-upping, he tries to find work back in the States. One of his former Marine friends asks him to kill someone. Thus begins Billy’s career as an elite hitman. His only condition is that his victims have to be demonstrably bad men. He’s not a sociopath driven to kill — he’s just good with a gun. He can hit targets from an incredible distance and then vanish like Houdini without being identified or caught. Now, at the ripe old age of 44, he’s looking to retire. One last job and he’s done.Continue Reading
Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of everything that’s going on in the Stephen King Universe. There are so many projects underway or about to get underway or that could possibly some day get underway that it boggles the mind. This is a new Golden Age for King, especially when it comes to the various adaptations of his work to screens large and small, silver and otherwise. I’m here to help you keep track! Continue Reading
Still haven’t had a chance to read “Ur”? Well, you’ll have to wait a while longer. However, the story will be available as an audiobook on February 16, 2010. The reader has not yet been selected. The suggested retail price is $14.99 in CD format or $11.99 for the download edition which will be available July 2010.
A limited, black-and-white convention edition of Issue 0 of The Talisman graphic novel will be available for free exclusively at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, taking place July 22-26. The special issue will be distributed by Del Rey at Booth #1129. The non-limited version will be available in comic book stores everywhere on October 21, 2009.
A sidebar about actress Emmanuelle Vaugier says that Dolan’s Cadillac is due out in December. Not quite sure in what form or what venues. It’s already been released on DVD in Sweden.
According to Camelot Books, these are the features of the Collectors Edition of Under the Dome:
Jacket (will be the same jacket as on the trade state)
Housed in a stamped case
4 color printed endpapers
Deck of cards (apparently this relates to the book)
A new message from King from his message board: “I’m delighted to tell you that I won not one but TWO Stoker Awards at this year’s ceremony, one for Duma Key (Best Novel) and one for Just After Sunset (Best Collection). My motto is, You can never be too thin, too rich, or win too many Stoker Awards. (If you’ve never seen one, the awards are most excellently cool.) My thanks to everyone who voted, and my congratulations to all the other nominees. Most of all, though, thanks to everyone who bought those books and enjoyed them. (And if you bought them and didn’t enjoy them, I still thank you.)”
There’s a new interview in today’s USA Today: ‘Duma Key’ finds Stephen King stepping into his own life. The interactive graphic at the top is called Stephen King By the Numbers. “His next book will be a collection of short stories, but he and his publisher can’t agree on a title. He wants to call it Unnatural Acts of Human Intercourse, which ‘could be a tough sell in some markets.'”
The Mist will be released on DVD on March 25th. The two-disc version will contain the theatrical release along with the movie rendered into black and white, which was how Darabont originally envisioned filming the movie. Special features on the two-disc version include:
• Audio commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont
• Eight deleted scenes with optional commentary
• A Conversation With Stephen King and Frank Darabont featurette
• When Darkness Came: The Making of THE MIST featurette
• Taming the Beast: Shooting Scene 35 featurette
• Monsters Among Us: A Look at the Creature FX featurette
• The Horror of It All: The Visual FX of THE MIST featurette
• Drew Struzan: Appreciation of an Artist featurette
The single-disc presentation won’t have all the bonus features, nor will it have the B&W rendering.
Here is a new link directly to King’s appearance on Today. He is supposed to appear on the weekend edition of Today as well, probably on Saturday.
The Long Road Home #1, goes on-sale in stores at 12:01AM, March 5th, 2008 (at comic stores participating in the midnight launch). Otherwise the issue will hit shelves at your local comic and book stores during normal business hours. View the exclusive artwork preview at King’s official web site.
Burton Hatlen, a literary scholar whose subjects ranged from Shakespeare to King and whose teachings shaped the minds of four generations of students at the University of Maine, died Monday at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Hatlen wrote several scholarly essays on King’s work, and a handful of King’s characters bear the name Hatlen, including Brooks Hatlen, the prison librarian in “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” Read more here.
Today is Duma Key day in North America. The book will be released on Thursday in the UK.
King was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News (Stephen King at 60) and appeared on the Today show (Click on the video link underneath The King of Scary in the upper right corner. Users contributed many more questions than King could handle on the live broadcast, so NBC has posted an online Q&A: Why writing is like sex. In the BDN interview, King elaborates that the long novel he is working on now is set in Western Maine.
Duma Key reviews are starting to emerge. Here is my review, which is fairly detailed and discusses a lot of the plot, so read at your own risk. Alan Cheuse reviewed the book on NPR (audio). There are also reviews in the Washington Post and the Rocky Mountain News. If you haven’t seen the film clip of King discussing the book on Amazon, it’s now available on his official web site, too. (Dialup | DSL/Cable). According to Publishers Weekly, the first printing is 1.5 million copies. Lilja is giving away copies in a contest on his web site.
There’s a mini-review/interview in Time magazine (King’s New Realm). The article also reveals the following news: King’s next book of short stories, Unnatural Acts of Intercourse, will come out this fall or next spring, and he’s working on a “novel that’s going to be very long. I’ll be killing a lot of trees if it gets done.”
King will appear on Today on NBC on Tuesday, January 22. If you want to submit a question that might be asked during the interview fill out this form.
Stephen, Tabitha, and Owen King will read from their works at an event called The Three Kings on April 4 in Washington, DC. A reception and book signing will follow. Tickets ($30 + handling) are available here.
Happy New Year! Duma Key will be released a week from next Tuesday. Here’s an audio excerpt from the book, and here’s a neat video trailer (Dial Up | Cable /DSL / Fiber). There’s an essay by editor Chuck Verrill at Amazon entitled Duma Key: Where It All Began, and you can read the beginning of the novel in parallel with the short story Memory to see the differences between the two.
Lilja has new interviews with Frank Darabont and Greg Nicotero at his web site.
Just one month to go until the release of Duma Key. Here’s the Publisher’s Weekly review (mild spoilers):
In bestseller King’s well-crafted tale of possession and redemption, Edgar Freemantle, a successful Minnesota contractor, barely survives after the Dodge Ram he’s driving collides with a 12-story crane on a job site. While Freemantle suffers the loss of an arm and a fractured skull, among other serious injuries, he makes impressive gains in rehabilitation. Personality changes that include uncontrollable rages, however, hasten the end of his 20-year-plus marriage. On his psychiatrist’s advice, Freemantle decides to start anew on a remote island in the Florida Keys. To his astonishment, he becomes consumed with making art–first pencil sketches, then paintings–that soon earns him a devoted following. Freemantle’s artwork has the power both to destroy life and to cure ailments, but soon the Lovecraftian menace that haunts Duma Key begins to assert itself and torment those dear to him. The transition from the initial psychological suspense to the supernatural may disappoint some, but even those few who haven’t read King (Lisey’s Story) should appreciate his ability to create fully realized characters and conjure horrors that are purely manmade.
My buddy Dave from Overlook Connection sent me samples of slipcases for Blaze and Gunslinger Born. He’s selling both slipcased books and standalone slipcases. Check ’em out.
Issue 1 (of 5) of The Long Road Home, the second Dark Tower graphic novel serial, will be released on March 5, 2008. Here’s Marvel’s exclamation point-riddled description: “It’s the return of the best-selling comic book series, inspired by Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower! Gunslinger Roland Deschain has seen the death of his lover Susan Delgado. And the Big Coffin Hunters who burned her at the stake are now in pursuit of Roland and his ka-tet Cuthbert and Alain. The friends are forced to flee into the desert with the deadly posse in hot pursuit….and Roland is in a coma! Don’t miss this opening chapter starring the Gunslinger whose quest for the Dark Tower will shake the foundation of reality itself!”
USA’s series The Dead Zone has been cancelled after a six-year run, leaving several continuing plotlines unresolved. “We wish we could keep all our great shows alive forever,” said Jeff Wachtel. “But we feel we need to give some of our new shows a platform to grow, and it’s with great sadness that we say goodbye to two shows that had a great run and helped create the resurgence of original programming on our network and on all of cable.” The premiere of The Dead Zone, created by the late Michael Piller and his son Shawn, set a record for a series debut on basic cable with 6.4 million viewers.
Two prisoners escaped from Union County jail in Elizabeth, New Jersey last week. Using improvised tools, the men removed cement blocks from two walls, squeezed through the holes, jumped to a rooftop below, scaled a 30-foot high wall and hopped a razor wire fence to escape from what was considered the most secure area of the prison. The escape was apparently inspired by The Shawshank Redemption—the inmates covered up their escape holes with photographs of women in bikinis. The escapees left a note saying “Happy Holidays,” and thanking a guard they claim helped them escape.
And, in closing, here is King’s year-end message, as posted on his web site:
I had a great year and, as always, it starts with the people who read the books and have been so kind to me over the last 30 or so years that I have been making up stories. It was especially nice to hear from you this year because I turned 60 and finally had to kill my teddy bear. Just joking about the teddy bear, but it’s a little traumatic and you guys helped to ease the pain. I hope you will all have a happy holiday season whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, or simply the imminent coming of Great Cthulhu. I hope that all of us will have a happy new year, that you will enjoy Duma Key, and that you vote for all the right candidates in November! Be well and be good to one another.
This new Q&A has been getting a lot of press, mostly because of King’s “waterboarding” comments. King also talked to Nightlineabout his childhood, career and the secret to a successful horror film. ABC news has an interesting from book to screen photo essay.
To see exclusive storyboards from The Mist, visit Fangoria.com. They also have an exclusive video interview with writer/director Darabont here, as well as some cool clips of Darabont and King talking together here. Star Thomas Jane sounds off here. Check out all the articles in Fearful Features too, and the cover story of the current issue of FANGORIA (on newsstands now).
CD’s very own Glenn Chadbourne said he spotted his t-shirt design featuring Doug Graves in The Mist. Glenn said he heard on King’s radio station WKIT that multiple t-shirts were used in the movie because of all the blood.
Fear.net has a nice interview with Peter, wherein he talks about T3, The Talisman movie and his next book. Note: this video is only available in North America.
Promotional bookmarks for The Long Road Home, the second Marvel graphic novel series, indicate that the launch will be in March 2008. The hardcover version of The Gunslinger Born was the #1 hardcover graphic novel on multiple sales charts and Amazon.com’s editors’ picked it as the #1 Comic & Graphic Novel of 2007.
“This is everything a hardcover collection of this type should be, and more,” gushed Joe Hartlaub of BookReporter.Com, who furthered described Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born HC as, “a beautiful hardcover edition that pays proper homage to the work within.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, ABC is planning a new drama series that’s loosely based on The Colorado Kid. King describes the script, from The Dead Zone‘s Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn, as “closer to The X-Files than Supernatural.” King will have a small stake in the show (currently dubbed Sanctuary) should it go to series, “but it’s not something that keeps me up nights, the way Kingdom Hospital did.”
When you read Duma Key in January, check out the epigraph, then back up to the copyright page and look at the acknowledgements for the song “Dig” by Shark Puppy. You’ll see some familiar names, I’m sure.
Stephen King will appear on ABC’s Nightline tonight at 11:35 P.M. (EST). If you miss it, the full interview transcript will be at ABCNEWS.com after the show airs. “If I can make you feel for my characters, and if you worry that something will happen to them instead of rooting for something to happen to them, for their head to be blown off, or for Freddy to get them with his nails, then I got something going,” King tells Jake Tapper.
Publisher Donald M. Grant posted an updated last week about their new edition of the revised version of The Gunslinger combined with Little Sisters of Eluria. “We have now received from Michael all the additional art for the book and can start working on design and production. Price, schedule and other details have not been set and when further information is available it will be posted on our website and published in our newsletter. We expect that this will be announced in the beginning of 2008.” This book will be called Little Sisters of Eluria.
TMZ.com posted a video of King greeting fans before the New York premiere of The Mist when someone asks him to autograph their daughter’s diaper. Saying he had “changed a few” in his day, King happily obliges, but the kid throws a fit. Here are some video highlights from the press conference where King and Darabont field questions about The Mist, a quick text recap of the high points and a link where you can listen to the interview. Fangoria magazine says “not only is The Mist intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic toward its characters, it is proudly and unashamedly a horror movie through and through. Darabont has scored his third successful King adaptation in a row, and there’s nothing hazy about his intention this time to scare the hell out of all of us.” Wandering through the Mist is an interview with Darabont and Marcia Gay Harden. Here is the third trailer.
Darabont tells MTV about his hopes to adapt The Long Walk. “It’s a hard story to pitch to a studio. Because they say ‘well what’s it about?’ Well it is about a bunch of kids walking and talking – uh okay. The thing I keep thinking about is that these guys never stop moving. So, I how do you get a really good close up. It would be an interesting challenge to not have people get just sick of watching the image because of all the movements. So, I think that there are certain rigs that stabilize the image even more so than a steady cam,” he revealed. “But [overall] I think a lot of run and gun, a lot of the guerrilla approach that I applied on The Mist. It will again be letting those ragged edges show.”
Hodder & Stoughton are offering you a unique opportunity to design the advertising for Duma Key. “The winning designer will see their work in print on the London Underground and in city centres and have a hand in promoting a fantastic book by an internationally-renowned author.” The competition is open to anyone. Further information on the competition is available at www.stephenking.co.uk. Deadline for entry is December 7, 2007.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 27, 2007: Stephen King confirmed at New York Comic Con last weekend that he had granted the option to make a Dark Tower movie to J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindeloff (LOST) for $19.
King also addressed the persistent rumor that he might go back and rewrite the rest of the Dark Tower books, as he did with The Gunslinger. “Yes, that’s correct. It’s a first draft. It was written over a long period of time, and I look at it as a work that’s still in progress. That’s why I re-did the first book. The vision that I had of what was going on got clearer as it went along. So, for instance, I looked back at the first book and I said to myself ‘there’s a lot of things I can do with this now, now that I know how everything turns out in the end.’ I’m a really instinctual writer—I don’t work with an outline. I did have an outline of some of The Dark Tower stuff way back when, when I started, when I was stoned, and I lost it. I didn’t have a clue, and I couldn’t remember what was going on, and I had that poem by Robert Browning to draw on, to start, so I knew certain elements that I wanted to be in it, that were in the poem. So, when I got done, and I looked at it, I said This Horn of Eld should be there at the front. That’s what you when you rewrite a book. I’ve got a book now called Duma Key, and there’s a woman who has some bracelets and the bracelets are important, but they’re not there until the end of the book. What I’m saying is, I know now some things I could do. The Dark Tower is one book, and I’d like go back and fix it up. Who knows—I might end up novelizing their comic book.”
He also suggested that The Stand would make a good project for a comic book adaptation. Here are some reports about the panel, including some with photos:
Eric Roth also stated that Cell would be his next movie project after Hostel II. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood and 1408) are working on the script. “By the time I finish Hostel Part II the script should be ready. I really want to read it.”
Lilja has a nice photo courtesy of Frank Darabont from The Mist set at his web site.
Don’t forget that issue 2 of The Gunslinger Born will be out on March 7th. Each of the first five issues will be released on the first Wednesday in the month. No word yet on the release schedule for the July issue, since the first Wednesday is July 4th.
Thanks to King’s praise of Meg Gardiner, both on his website and in Entertainment Weekly, there’s been a run on her books at second hand outlets and her agent told Publishers Lunch that publishers are lining up to make book deals with her in the U.S., where she is currently unpublished.
Here are more details about Blaze, which is now up for preorder at Cemetery Dance:
Blaze: A Posthumous Novel
By Richard Bachman
Foreword by Stephen King
List Price: $23.00
Hardcover, 256 pages