News From The Dead Zone #125

When’s the last time you got a say in what book Stephen King is going to write next? Never! But now King is asking for people to express their preferences between two possible novels. Voting is open at his official web site until Jan 1, 2010. Here is his message on the matter:

Hey, you guys–I saw a lot of you Constant Readers while I was touring for Under the Dome, and I must say you’re looking good. Thanks for turning out in such numbers, and thanks for all the nice things you’ve said about Under the Dome. There’ll be another book next year. It’s a good one, I think, but that’s not why I’m writing. I mentioned two potential projects while I was on the road, one a new Mid-World book (not directly about Roland Deschain, but yes, he and his friend Cuthbert are in it, hunting a skin-man, which are what werewolves are called in that lost kingdom) and a sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep. Are you interested in reading either of these? If so, which one turns your dials more? Ms. Mod will be counting your votes (and of course it all means nothing if the muse doesn’t speak). Meanwhile, thanks again for 2009.

According to Ms. Mod, this isn’t an either/or proposal–King may write both of these books. It’s more a matter of which one you’d like to see first.

The Torontoist has this summary of King’s discussion of Dr. Sleep: “Seems King was wondering whatever happened to Danny Torrance of The Shining, who when readers last saw him was recovering from his ordeal at the Overlook Hotel at a resort in Maine with fellow survivors Wendy Torrance and chef Dick Halloran (who dies in the Kubrick film version). King remarked that though he ended his 1977 novel on a positive note, the Overlook was bound to have left young Danny with a lifetime’s worth of emotional scars. What Danny made of those traumatic experiences, and with the psychic powers that saved him from his father at the Overlook, is a question that King believes might make a damn fine sequel. So what would a sequel to one of King’s most beloved novels look like? In King’s still tentative plan for the novel, Danny is now 40 years old and living in upstate New York, where he works as the equivalent of an orderly at a hospice for the terminally ill. Danny’s real job is to visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers. Danny also has a sideline in betting on the horses, a trick he learned from his buddy Dick Hallorann.”

In the aftermath of that statement, numerous news sources assumed that King was committed to writing the novel, which caused him to issue a sort of retraction via Entertainment Weekly. “It’s a great idea, and I just can’t seem to get down to it,” says the author in an e-mail. “People shouldn’t hold their breath. I know it would be cool, though. I want to write it just for the title, Dr. Sleep. I even told them [at the book signing], ‘It will probably never happen.'” Still, King — whose most recent novel is this month’s Under the Dome — can’t quite shut the door on the Shining sequel, adding, “But ‘probably’ isn’t ‘positively,’ so maybe.” The poll appeared on his website a few days later.

Concerning the next book (before he tackles either of these two), he said this in Toronto: “I have one (story) that’s kind of like Under the Dome, that I tried to write when I was 22 or 23 years old and I’m going to try to go back to that after this tour. I’d like to write that one. Beyond that, I have things that bounce around in my head. Dome bounced around a long time. I don’t keep a writer’s notebook of ideas because I’ve felt all my life that if I get a really good idea, it will stick.”

King’s appearance on The Hour can be found on the CBC website. Here is a one-minute clip of King and Cronenberg on stage in Toronto. Here are three video snippets from Talking Volumes in Minneapolis:

King reviews Raymond Carver’s Life and Stories in the NY Times. His latest Entertainment Weekly column is My Ultimate Playlist.

SyFy has ordered 13 episodes of Haven, the weekly TV series inspired by The Colorado Kid. Haven centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay — while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven. Producer Lloyd Segan talks about the show in this interview.

Casting has commenced for the reboot of Carrie: The Musical. The cast will feature Sutton Foster as gym teacher Ms. Gardner, Marin Mazzie as Margaret White, Molly Ranson as Carrie and Jennifer Damiano as Sue. Also revealed in the cast are “American Idol” finalist Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray, The Toxic Avenger) as Chris, Matt Doyle as Tommy and John Arthur Greene as Billy. The Carrie ensemble includes Corey Boardman, Lilli Cooper, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Benjamin Eakeley, Emily Ferranti, Kyle Harris, Philip Hoffman, Kaitlin Kiyan, Max Kumangai, Mackenzie Mauzy, Preston Sadleir, Jonathan Schwartz, Bud Weber and Sasha Weiss. Producer Seller has reunited composer Michael Gore, lyricist Dean Pitchford and book writer Lawrence D. Cohen, whom took a crack at the stage show back in 1988 to reprise their roles for this update.  You can actually check out an official Carrie: The Musical website with plenty of tid-bits on the original show, as well as info on the new one right here.

News From The Dead Zone #96

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Today is the publication day for the first installment of The Long Road Home. Some comic shops opened at midnight, but most others should have the Marvel comic book on their shelves by this afternoon.

The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, King’s musical collaboration with John Mellencamp, will have its World Premiere at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta from April 15 – May 10, 2009 . “In 1957, in the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi, a terrible tragedy took the lives of two brothers and a beautiful young girl. During the next forty years, the events of that night became a local legend. But legend is often just another word for lie. Joe McCandless knows what really happened; he saw it all. The question is whether or not he can bring himself to tell the truth in order to save his own troubled sons, and whether the ghosts left behind by an act of violence will help him…or tear the McCandless family apart forever.” If the show does well in Atlanta, it will move on to Broadway.

Tickets for The Three Kings are showing up both at the Folger Theater web site and on eBay, so if you want to go and haven’t purchased a ticket yet, here’s another chance.

King will be introducing Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton, at a special event at 6:30 p.m. March 27 in Selby Auditorium at the University of South Florida, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets are $25, include a copy of Groff’s book, and are available at Sarasota News & Books, 1341 Main St. Whether King will be reading or interviewing the author has not yet been finalized.

All three parts of Lilja’s interview with King are now online at Lilja’s Library.

King’s most recent EW column is Your Movie and Concert Hall Hell. You may see a familiar name in it.

The first episode of a Bravo! Canada show called Books into Film will feature King’s works on March 6. “Series examining the adaptation of books into movies, using clips, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. This episode: Hollywood’s long-running fascination with this versatile writer, author of Carrie, The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining and Stand By Me. Bravo! Canada is also re-airing An Evening With Stephen King on March 27 and March 28.

News From The Dead Zone #75

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

August 17, 2007: Fangoria reports that Mick Garris will be directing a feature film adaptation of Bag of Bones, written by Matt Venne and coproduced with Mark Sennet. Garris is also producing the film version of From a Buick 8, directed by Tobe Hooper and said the he would love to direct Gerald’s Game, his favorite King novel.

Read King’s thoughts about the ending of the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling’s Ministry of Magic) and another EW column: The Joy of Looking, or: What I learned from watching Ellen.

This slipped under some people’s radars, but The Gunslinger’s Guidebook is now out. It was delayed by a week due to some binding issues.

You can now read an excerpt from The Science of Stephen King at the publisher’s web site.

1408 will be released on DVD on October 2, with deleted scenes, featurettes and an alternate ending.

Best American Short Stories will be out on October 10. Edited by King, contributors include Richard Russo, John Barth, Jim Shepard, Alice Munro, William Gay, T.C. Boyle, Mary Gordon, Kate Walbert, Ann Beattie, and Louis Auchincloss.

“The Gingerbread Girl” will be released on Simon & Schuster audio next May.

The Shining: Special Edition DVD will be out from Warner Home Video on October 23. Disc One: Audio commentary by Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown and Kubrick biographer John Baxter. Disc Two: The Making of The Shining, with optional commentary by Vivian Kubrick (from the previous DVD),  new View from The Overlook: Crafting The Shining featurette, new The Visions of Stanley Kubrick featurette,  new Wendy Carlos, Composer featurette.

News From The Dead Zone #29

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

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.

Netflix is hosting a special screening of The Shining at the screening area outside the Stanley Hotel on August 16th. Admission is free.

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, an interview with Tom Hanks, additional scenes, makeup and screen tests, and commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont. See full details here.

Check out this Entertainment Weekly page for a report and picture of King’s visit to the EW office.

Bloody Disgusting reports that a remake of Children of the Corn is in the works. I know you’re all on the edges of your seats at this news!

Rocky Wood spoke on King at two panels (and read from ‘Before the Play’ at a midnight reading) at the Speculative Fiction con, Continuum 4 in Melbourne (Australia) last weekend. Here is a Live Journal report of the event and another review of Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished.