With more than 56 novels and nearly 200 short stories, Stephen King earned himself a place as one of the top paid authors in the world.Though he may be turning 70 this coming September, his past works continue to be revived through cinematic and television adaptations. Currently, “The Dark Tower” is in theaters and the first part of “IT” will also become available in September. In addition, two new Netflix shows are coming next year, “Gerald’s Game” and “1922”.
Matthew McConauhey in The Dark Tower | Image courtesy of Movie Pins
Though his prolific work provides inspiration for directors, they are also notoriously difficult to adapt. Whenever we hear a new adaptation on the rise, there’s always a mixed pool of reaction ranging from sheer anger to triumphant blurts. Indeed, the challenge of translating text into visual storytelling can be an arduous task that directors and screenwriters struggle with. In an interview with Variety, Stephen King himself revealed his opinions on adaptations, what he would like to see brought to the silver screen as well as things that scare him.
V: You’ve had so many of your works adapted; what do you think makes a good adaptation?
SK: I think it’s good when they stick as close to the story as they can because that’s what they bought. You don’t want to think they just bought the launching pad, but they bought the rocket, too. I’m a workhorse myself, and I like people who work hard. I like people who are creative, who are visual, and I like people who work hard and come to it with a professional attitude and have an artistic flair.
V: Is there any work of yours that has yet to be adapted that you’d like to see?
SK: Oh, man. “Lisey’s Story,” I guess. “Lisey’s Story” is my favorite of the books and I would love to see that done, especially now that there’s a kind of openness on the streaming services on TV and even the cable networks. There’s more freedom to do stuff now and when you do a movie from a book, there’s this thing that I call the sitting on a suitcase syndrome. That is where you try to pack in all the clothes at once and the suitcase won’t close, so you just sit on it until it latches. And sometimes when it comes down on the baggage carousel, it busts open and your dirty laundry is everywhere. So it’s tough to take a book that is fully textured and has all the wheels turning and do it in two hours and 10 minutes. But as a TV show you have 10 hours, there’s always the possibility of doing something like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is extraordinary.
V: How has your writing process evolved over the years?
SK: There’s more time, but I’m older now I don’t have quite the stamina I used to have but I still work maybe three, four hours a day, seven days a week when I’m working on something. And when I’m not working on something, I don’t know what to do with myself. I just sort of follow my wife around the house until she says, “Don’t you have something to do?”
V: Is there anything that scares you?
SK: Oh God, yes. Air travel is a big one with me because I feel like I’m not in control. I’m close to 70 now, so I’m worried about basically having the cheese slide off my cracker — Alzheimer’s, dementia, stuff like that. I don’t like bugs, I don’t like bats, I don’t like things that creep and crawl. With the exception of snakes, somehow they don’t really turn my dials. But I’m also afraid of people like Brady Hartsfield, they’re out there. And it crosses my mind every time I do a public event. You think about somebody like Mark David Chapman, and you think maybe somebody’s got a knife out for you. But that’s part of life.
Feature image courtesy of HuffPost