Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #173

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.

In case you missed it, King’s latest short story “That Bus Is Another World” appeared in the August issue of Esquire. Also, here is King’s response to the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. And here is an interview with King about how he teaches writing, from the Atlantic.

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.

Encore is running King movies every day during September, with a special selection scheduled for King’s birthday.

There’s lots of news on the movie/TV front. Let’s hit the high spots:

  • A Good Marriage will be in cinemas and available via Video On Demand on October 3. ‘We went in fearlessly’: Stephen King on adapting A Good Marriage for film.
  • 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.
  • Mercy, the film adaptation of “Gramma,” will be “dumped to digital” in October. I assume this means it’s going straight to Video On Demand.
  • 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.
  • In this video, King discusses his involvement with the second season of Under the Dome, which is nearing the end of its second season. There are also a couple of good interviews with him: Stephen King Isn’t Afraid Of The Big Bad Adaptation and Written by — and tweaked for TV by — Stephen King
  • 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.”
  • Writer Jeff Buhler has come aboard director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Pet Sematary reboot for Paramount. He discusses the project with Dread Central.
  • 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.

News From The Dead Zone #95

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The publication date for King’s upcoming short story collection Just Past Sunset (ISBN-10: 1-4165-8408-0) is November 11, 2008 in the US and UK. The book will have approximately 400 pages and has a cover price of $28.

Though the list hasn’t been finalized, here are the stories that are confirmed for the collection: The Gingerbread Girl, Harvey’s Dream, Rest Stop, Stationary Bike, The Things They Left Behind, Willa, Graduation Afternoon, N, The New York Times At Special Bargain Rates, Mute, Ayana, A Very Tight Place. One unnamed “bonus” story might be added to the list.  I’ve never heard of “N” before.

Look for a new three-part interview with King later this week at Lilja’s Library.

Bravo in Canada is airing the one-hour show An Evening With Stephen King on Thursday at 9 pm EST. “Recently honoured with the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, King is the first non-Canadian to receive the honour. BookTelevision’s cameras were there to record the historic evening. Authors Margaret Atwood and Clive Barker toast this literary legend, and pop culture writer and essayist Chuck Klosterman interviews King one-on-one. In his heartfelt acceptance speech, King pays tribute to many Canadian writers who have made an impact on his life.” The show does not appear on the US Bravo schedule.

News From The Dead Zone #18

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

It’s been a while since my last update , primarily because there hasn’t been much news to report. With May fast approaching, and bringing with it the sweeps season, some reviews and previews of Desperation are starting to emerge. The first review I’ve seen comes from the San Antonio Express News. Their bottom line: “The movie has a little of everything: heart, spirituality, incredibly crafted flashback sequences, wonderful acting and shiver-under-the-covers shocks, a combo that should get ABC big audience numbers.”

Ron Perlman (Collie Entragian/Tak) told SCI FI Wire that his character is particularly unpleasant. “He commits some very, very gruesome acts that are very cold-blooded, very sudden and very unpredictable, and they’re without compunction, which is really the scariest part of it all. There’s no censoring.There’s no value judgment to this guy’s bloodlust. And he’s smart. Because he’s a Stephen King character, his turn of a phrase and his theatrical point of view is really, really smart. So there’s an added perverseness to all of it that make it incredibly compelling to watch, … I hope. I’m just giving you the sense I had of him from reading the script and playing the role.”

The Tucson Film Office and Fox Tucson Theatre are presenting an exclusive prescreening of Desperation on Saturday, May 6. Desperation was filmed in and around Tucson and Bisbee in the fall of 2004. Several cast and production members are scheduled to appear and get a red-carpet welcome, including director Mick Garris, producer Mark Sennet and actors Steven Weber, Annabeth Gish and Ron Perlman. The red-carpet opening event starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by opening comments by the director and producer at 7:15, and the film screens at 7:30. Tickets are available for $25 at the Fox Tucson Theatre box office at 17 W. Congress St.

“The Things They Left Behind” from Transgressions was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. Winners will be announced at the HWA Annual Conference and Stoker Banquet in in Newark, NJ, June 16-18 at the Hilton Newark Airport. As with Legends, the paperback of this anthology (to be released in late August) is split into multiple volumes. King’s story is in Volume 2 along with “The Ransome Women” by John Farris.

The Seattle Arts & Lectures announced that King will appear as part of its Literary Lecture Series on November 1st. Information: or call 206-621-2230. Other authors appearing include New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich and author Frank McCourt. King’s appearance is only a week or so after the publication of Lisey’s Story. The moderator of his message board quotes the book jacket copy: “Lisey’s Story is about the wellsprings of creativity, the temptations of madness, and the secret language of love,” and continues, “Translated, that means a woman is regaining memories of the dark side of her husband triggered when she is going through his belongings after his death.”

Read Kev Quigley’s report of his encounter with Stephen King in a bookstore and King’s newest EW column, My Morning People.

As tracked by Nielsen BookScan, Stephen King’s Cell has sold more than 377,000 copies.