Scribner has issued this plot synopsis of the upcoming 1120-page novel Under the Dome:
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mills, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if—it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens—town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing—even murder—to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.
It looks like It will be remade as a feature film. Warner Bros. has hired Dave Kajganich to adapt the novel, with Dan Lin and Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Doug Davison producing. Though it’s hard to take stories seriously at this point, when the script hasn’t even been written, the rumor is that it will focus on the adult Losers rather than flipping back and forth between the two eras. Kajganich is also attached to a remake of Pet Sematary.
USA Weekend will have a cover story on Stephen King in its March 6-8 issue. Lorrie Lynch flew up to Maine to talk to him in December. “We got into a discussion of popular authors vs. the academic elite, a subject he has strong opinions about, and I asked him if his mainstream success over the past 35 years paved the way for the massive careers of Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer.” Click read more for King’s feelings about those two as well as some other best-selling authors.
Captain Trips, the first series of graphic novels adapting The Stand, will be released in a hardcover omnibus edition on March 10th.
Dark Tower: Guide to Gilead will be out this month. Since the Golden Age of Eld — when Gilead was first named the capital of the fledgling Kingdom of All-World — the city has served as Mid-World’s most influential urban center. In the latest DARK TOWER handbook, explore Gilead’s seedy Lower Town and its affluent West End corridor! Learn about the religions of Buffalo Star and the Queen o’ Green Days! Marvel at the legend of Lord Perth! Beware the threats posed by the Blue-Faced Barbarians and Kuvian Night Soldiers! The Guide to Gilead is the only way to navigate the past, present and future of this magnificent metropolis!
This will be followed on March 11th by a single-issue installment Dark Tower: Sorcerer, “probing deeply into the incredible life of Marten Broadcloak. We learn his deadly secret agenda and true goal is not to serve the Crimson King, but to climb to the top of the Dark Tower itself and become the overlord of all existence!”
There’s a new Dark Tower critique out: Inside the Dark Tower Series: Art, Evil and Intertextuality in the Stephen King Novels by Patrick McAleer. “Stephen King is no stranger to the realm of literary criticism, but his most fantastic, far-reaching work has aroused little academic scrutiny. This study of King’s epic Dark Tower series encompasses the career of one of the world’s best-selling authors and frames him as more than a “horror writer.” Four categories of analysis–genre, art, evil, and intertextuality–provide a focused look at the center of King’s fictional universe. This book reaches beyond popular culture treatments of the series and examines it against King’s horror work, audience expectations, and the larger literary landscape.”
A new stage version of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption will have its world premiere at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin on May 19 with previews starting on May 14. Adapted by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns and directed by Peter Sheridan.
According to an article an earlier article in USA Weekend: Stephen King has gone multimedia. “N.,” one of the tales in the best-selling author’s latest short story collection, Just After Sunset, was turned into an original Web video series in conjunction with Marvel Comics. The collaboration has inspired King, 61; he’s thinking about doing a YouTube video for his novel Under the Dome, out later this year. Such projects are definitely fun, King says. “But with all these multimedia things, the story is the story still, the book is the book, and that’s the source material. As J.R.R. Tolkien might say, ‘That’s the one ring.’ It rules the other one.”
Del Rey announced the adaptor and artist on the comic book and graphic novel versions of The Talisman which debuts early this fall. The book will be penciled and inked by Tony Shasteen, and will be scripted by Robin Furth. Lettering and project management will be handled by Dabel Brothers Publishing.
New issues of Dark Tower: Treachery and The Stand are out this week from Marvel.
Under the Dome will be released by Scribner in the Fall of 2009, according to SK’s MB moderator. In a new interview with Salon magazine, King says, “it deals with some of the same issues that The Stand does, but in a more allegorical way.”
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.
If you missed last night’s airing on C-SPAN 2 of a Writing Discussion with Stephen, Tabitha, and Owen King, it will run again on Saturday, May 17, at 8:00 a.m. It’s worth catching, because he read from the first pages of the book he is currently working on, which sounds like a re-imagining of a failed novel from the 1980s called The Cannibals at one time and Under the Dome at another. The snippet he read had to do with a woman getting a flying lesson. A twenty-five year old quote from King about the novel: “I’ve gotten about four-hundred-and-fifty pages done and it is all about these people who are trapped in an apartment building. Worst thing I could think of. And I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if they all ended up eating each other? It’s very, very bizarre because it’s all on one note. And who knows whether it will be published or not.”
Christian Slater and Wes Bentley have signed up to star in the adaptation of “Dolan’s Cadillac.” The thriller follows a young man (Bentley) who seeks to avenge his wife’s murder by the untouchable Las Vegas mobster Jimmy Dolan (Slater). Emmanuelle Vaugier rounds out the key cast on the project, which is scheduled to begin shooting in Saskatchewan and Quebec on May 14. Erik Canuel will direct from Richard Dooling’s adapted screenplay. (Dooling, as you may recall, was King’s collaborator on Kingdom Hospital)