I must confess that when I first heard that Epix was turning Stephen King’s early short story “Jerusalem’s Lot” into a ten-episode TV series, I wasn’t terribly excited. I don’t subscribe to that service, so I planned to give the show a miss. I thought it would turn out to be like the TV series The Mist, which bears little resemblance to the source material beyond the general concept. I’m here to tell you I was wrong, and this show is worth checking out. There is horror a-plenty here if you have plenty of patience for the show’s somewhat measured pace.
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
Lisey’s Story, the Apple TV+ adaptation of Stephen King’s 2006 novel of the same name, begins its eight-episode run on Friday, June 4. The miniseries features a stellar cast, including Julianne Moore as Lisey Landon, Clive Owen as her husband Scott and Joan Allen and Jennifer Jason Leigh as her sisters Amanda and Darla. Rounding out the cast are Ron Cephas Jones as Professor Dashmiel and Dane DeHaan as Jim Dooley. All eight episodes were scripted by King and directed by Pablo Larraín, who previously helmed the bio-pic Jackie.
King frequently cites Lisey’s Story as his favorite of his novels. His general policy towards adaptations of his books and stories is that he is either “all in” or “all out.” In the latter case, he has cast and script approval but he generally leaves the directors and other producers alone. However, he was heavily involved with every facet of the Lisey’s Story adaptation. In the video included below he says, “I thought if someone was going to screw it up, I used to tell my wife that no one was going to screw it up more than me.”
In a couple of weeks—on March 2nd, 2021, to be specific—Hard Case Crime will publish their third Stephen King novel, Later. Although King is generally thought of as a horror writer, he has written numerous crime short stories, novellas and novels, giving them a unique twist. In Part 1 of a three-part series, I look at King’s earliest involvement with crime fiction. Next week, I’ll explore his more recent writings in the genre, including his previous two books with Hard Case Crime and the Mercedes series. Then, on publication day, I’ll review Later and look ahead to King’s next crime novel, Billy Summers.Continue Reading
2020 was a hell of a year to be reading Stephen King’s 1978 novel, The Stand….never mind devoting an entire podcast to it.
Jason Sechrest thought the same thing — in fact, he was reading it when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. He took to Twitter with his thoughts about the book, and with a dream about examining it in detail in a podcast, and before he knew it he’d assembled an amazing lineup of co-hosts: director Mike Flanagan, author Tananarive Due, and journalist/author Anthony Breznican. The result is a six-episode podcast that is entertaining, informative, and incredibly timely. (You can WATCH The Company of the Mad: The Stand Podcast at TheStandPodcast.com, or LISTEN on Apple Podcasts here.)
With the final episode set to go live on January 20, Sechrest took a few moments to talk to Cemetery Dance about the origins of the project, and what he and his mad company learned along the way.Continue Reading
Barry Hoffman is a former inner city school teacher who founded Gauntlet Press Magazine, which focused on topics of censorship and controversial subject matters of the day. Barry is currently the founder and editor of Gauntlet Press Publications, a Bram Stoker award-winning independent specialty Press with numerous titles from legendary authors such as Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and Jack Ketchum., and is also an author in his own right with several titles to his name including the ongoing acclaimed Eyes series.
I recently sat down with Barry to discuss Gauntlet Press’s most recent title, Hope And Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays By Frank Darabont). This signed limited book is due to release in December and, as of this writing, there is now a waiting list for the platinum edition signed by Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Frank Darabont and Stephen King, among others; the edition also comes with a replica rock pick carved from a tree felled from the very set of The Shawshank Redemption.
Join us as we chat about this latest specialty release, certain to become one of Gauntlet’s crowning achievements. Barry details what it took to put this cinematic celebration together, what it means to have done so, and more. Continue Reading
From the Academy Award-nominated short film The Woman in the Room, Frank Darabont’s first writer/director effort, to The Blob, The Fly II, The Mist, the first season of The Walking Dead and, of course, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile and several more in between, Darabont has spent over thirty years creating films to capture, scare, and otherwise stir the hearts and minds across multiple generations of film fans across the globe. I got to corner the man himself by way of the phone to discuss Gauntlet Press’s upcoming publication of their newest specialty title: Hope And Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays By Frank Darabont).
Join us we chat about Frank’s contributions to making this book the highly collectable time capsule it’s destined to become. Get comfortable as we delve into the undertaking of this massive project, reminisce about Darabont’s experience during the making of these two iconic films, and the legacy of what this book has to offer for established and budding filmmakers alike.Continue Reading
Preceding the twenty and twenty-fifth anniversaries of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile comes Hope and Miracles, a literary celebration of two of Stephen King’s most iconic cinematic adaptations (Shawshank being the highest ranking film listed on IMDB). The book provides a cornucopia of behind-the-scenes insights, retrospectives, essays and more from writer/director Frank Darabont, Stephen King, RC Matheson and several others, including an exclusive interview from the late, but always great Michael Clark Duncan. Several never before released photos from Darabont’s personal archive are also included. Continue Reading
Hard Case Crime (The Colorado Kid, Joyland) will publish Stephen King’s next supernatural crime novel in March 2021. Later will be a paperback original (cover by Paul Mann) and eBook, but there will also be a limited edition hardcover featuring two covers by Gregory Manchess, one for Later itself and one for a fictitious novel within the novel that features prominently in the plot.
In this installment of News from the Dead Zone, I’ll tell you a little more about Later, bring you up to date on recent King appearances, let you know what adaptations you can expect to see soon, which ones are in production, which ones are on the table and which ones have died on the vine. I’ll also give you an early look at Hope and Miracles from Gauntlet Press, which collects the screenplays of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, along with tons of ancillary material. Pull up a chair!
Shortly after King launched his website in 1998, a guest book was added to the site. By 2003, this was converted to a “message board,” an unthreaded list of comments from fans that were occasionally answered by the staff. Continue Reading
What is a novella? In some quarters, it’s defined as a long short story or a short novel. But this is the Stephen King Universe we’re dealing with, where “The Langoliers,” coming it at over 90,000 words—a length many writers would find appropriate for a novel—is considered a novella because it was bundled with three other works of similar length. On the other side, some often consider the four entries in The Bachman Books novellas because they are bundled in similar fashion when, in fact, all four were originally published as standalone novels.
The original King novella collection, Different Seasons, was notable in that three of the four stories had no supernatural elements. The same claim could almost be made about If It Bleeds, although with some caveats. Strange things appear in every story—a dead man avenging the protagonist, a room where people see visions of impending death, a shapeshifting scavenger, and a talking rat that grants wishes—but an argument could be made that in at least two stories, and maybe three, the existence of the supernatural is, itself, speculative. It could also be based on assumptions made by the characters or their delusions. About the fourth story, though, there is no question.
Ironically, in my quest to discover other horror writers besides Stephen King, (I adore King’s work but at that time, I was reading him exclusively), it was King himself who helped lead the way. Somewhere in the middle of that quest I finally, for the first time, read his non-fiction treatise on the horror genre, Danse Macabre (which you should all do, right now). Continue Reading