Get hype, Stephen King fans! The Stand, an upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel, has added more cast members to the epic post-apocalyptic series. Exclusive to CBS All Access, it was announced via Deadline that Whoopi Goldberg, Jovan Adepo, Owen Teague, Brad William Henke, and Daniel Junjata. And most exciting of all, Alexander Skarsgard will play Randall Flagg.
image via Stephen King wiki
Written by Josh Boone and Ben Cavell, the book tells of a plague ravaging mankind and leaving behind the remnants of humanity. A long novel, the epic details the struggle for the survival of humanity between the frail but wise Mother Abigail and the evil, satanic Randall Flagg. The book has dozens of character viewpoints but it all comes down to a confrontation between the two opposing forces, with Mother Abigail receiving messages from God to aid her followers.
Whoopi Goldberg has been announced to play Mother Abigail. Adepo will play Larry Underwood, a young musician with a taste for fame and Henke will play Tom Cullen, a mentally challenged man with a sweet soul.
The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios. Josh Boone and Ben Cavell will write and executive produce, with Boone also directing. Roy Lee, Jimmy Miller and Richard P. Rubinstein will also serve as executive producers with Will Weiske serving as co-executive producer. Knate Lee, Jill Killington and Owen King will serve as producers.
Most exciting of all, Stephen King will write the last chapter of the series, providing a new coda that isn’t found in the book!
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This is an exciting development, showcasing a star studded cast to portray the many, multi-dimensional characters. We’re excited to see them brought to life, especially Randall Flagg, thought of as King’s ‘ubervillain’. The series will also have a hand from Stephen King himself, who will write the final episode of the series and provide a ‘coda’ that wasn’t there in the original novel.
We can’t wait to see King’s masterpiece coming to the small screen!
On November 8th we’re all going to see Doctor Sleep. Oh, wait, you’re not? Why? Because you don’t know the story? Well, let me fill you in…
Ewan McGregor, also known as young Obi-Wan Kenobi, will star as Danny in the film adaptation for Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, a story which follows an adult Danny Torence, the child from The Shining, as he struggles to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence.
He goes to New Hampshire where he establishes a nursing home where he can use his shining power for good, comforting the dying before they go. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival.
In preparation for this movie, we’re going to go through eight Stephen King Books we gotta re-read or just read for the first time (no shame here!) before this movie hits a silver screen near you!
Yep, you knew this would be on this list. Even if you haven’t read It, you’ve heard of It. Loser’s Club, killer clown, weird orgy scene, a giant cosmic turtle, it’s all there. This gem has heart, has scares, has everything Steven King. The book is as big as a stone but it won’t weigh you down.
Juggling themes of adulthood, childhood, and trauma, this story has stuck with us throughout the ages for a reason.
Instead of a scary clown, we meet the the Cujo, the good-natured St. Bernard. Good dog! But he gets bit by a rabid bat. Then when Donna’s car breaks down, she and her young son Tad are trapped while a crazed Cujo tries to kill them. Bad dog!
In his book, On Writing, King notes that due to his alcoholism and cocaine addiction he can barely remember writing this book, and that might be for the best. It’s not bad or anything, far from it, in fact it’s so real, so visceral, so in-your-face-horrifying that it might have even scared Stephen King himself away from writing.
What can I say except thank God there’s only one evil animal in this story.
Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, along with their two younger children move to Maine. Bad move, because in a Stephen King novel Maine is a terrible place. Their cat, Church, dies, so they bury it out in the woods.
Are you sad yet?
Well, things get worse when the cat comes back to life. Turns out that the woods are an ancient burial ground and anything buried there comes back to life with an intent to kill.
With two film adaptations, you’ll have to check out this book, “Darling.”
A post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy, The Standis Stephen King’s fourth novel (can you believe it?).
After a patient escapes from a biological testing facility, he unknowingly unleashes upon the world a mutated strain of super-flu that starts to wipe out 99% of the world’s population.
With the fate of humanity at stake, Mother Abigail—a benevolent one-hundred-eight-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community—and Randall Flagg—the nefarious “Dark Man” who delights in chaos and violence—rise up to lead humanity, and force the survivors to choose between them.
Let’s go back to 1974. Here we get the first novel published by Stephen King, Carrie.
Carrie is relentlessly bullied by her peers and tormented by her overly-religious mother who, after reaching puberty, discovers she has telekinetic powers.
A bloodbath, this novel is one of the most frequently on the banned books. Multiple adaptations have been made, from the stage to the silver screen, but the book proves to be the most terrifying. It’s a good thing that Tabitha King fished the first draft of the first chapter out of the garbage and convinced her husband to keep writing, otherwise Stephen King wouldn’t be the King of horror we know today.
Writer Paul Sheldon is injured in a car accident but is saved by nurse Annie Wilkes. However, Annie is a super-fan of Paul’s writing and is keeping him prisoner, refusing to let him go until he finishes another book in her favorite series.
The title comes from the feeling it evoked not only in Paul Sheldon, but within King himself.
The novel got a film adaptation in 1990, staring James Caan and Kathy Bates in a performance that won Bates an Oscar. Funny enough, the director of the film, Rob Reiner, only took the film on because he wanted to include the infamous ‘axe’ scene but, when it came time to shooting, decided to change the scene into an ‘ankle-breaking’ one instead.
You won’t be miserable when reading this novel, but it might just get under your skin and tear it right off.
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
Stephen King started the Dark Tower series with that line and, for the longest time, it seemed like he wouldn’t finish the series. Years went by, and then he was almost killed, run over by a drunk-driver while he was on the side street during his routine morning walk.
He survived, and afterwards flew through the rest of the series just to get to this ending. And trust me, you all, it’s Stephen King at his Stephen-King-est. If you want crazy insanity to the ninth degree, then this is the book for you.
Of course this would be number one, but let’s refresh your memory.
Jack Torrance has a new job at the Overlook Hotel. This is the perfect chance for a fresh start. He’ll have plenty of time reconnecting with his family and his writing his magnum opus. But as the harsh winter winds blow and snow falls, Jack Torrance falls back into his old vices as his young son, Danny Torrance, feels malicious spirits gather around him, attracted to his unique gift called ‘the shining.’
There’s something fun about bad guys. A memorable villain is just as much a key ingredient of literature as the hero, acting as the antagonist and obstacle in the way of the heroes goals. If done properly, a villain will be just as remembered and often as beloved as the hero, hailed for their command of evil minions, nefarious lines, and the threatening situations they put our plucky main characters in. But who are the best? Who are the cream of the crop among literary bad guys? Well, here are the top ten best and darkest villains in literature!
10. Annie Wilkes- ‘Misery’
Image via Stephen King wiki
Annie Wilkes is a cautionary tale, showcasing how mentally unstable being a ‘superfan’ can make you. When writer Paul Sheldon breaks both legs in an accident, Annie takes him in and begins to nurse him back to health. But slowly, she reveals she’s obsessed with the Misery series Paul writes and the latest book kills off Misery. Annie Wilkes snaps at this and forces Paul to write a new novel that undoes Misery’s death. She subjects him to multiple horrors within her house, such as slicing off Paul’s leg with an axe and stabbing a state trooper who tries to rescue Paul before running him over with a lawnmower. Annie Wilkes grows increasingly psychotic over the course of the novel and just as Paul does, the reader becomes increasing desperate to escape her presence. Annie Wilkes was played by Kathy Bates in the 1990 film adaptation, winning an Oscar for bringing the character to life.
9. Patrick Bateman- ‘American Psycho’
Image via Variety
Debuting in 1991 in the novel American Psycho,Patrick Bateman is a deeply, deeply disturbed man. A young investment banker living in Manhattan during the 1980s, Patrick Bateman is a serial killer who begins the novel in semi-control of his killing urges but spirals completely out of control as the novel progresses. Told from Bateman’s POV, the novel paints him as a racist, a homophobic, a narcissist, and a psychopath. However, Bateman may not even be a serial killer, as the novel frames his crimes as possibly not even having happened after he confesses at the book’s end. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Bateman is a deeply disturbed man and one whose mental state is at rock bottom, even if he’s a serial killer or not.
8. Count Olaf- ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’
Image via Lemony Snicket wiki
Children’s novels often have brought to life some of the most iconic villains in pop culture and Count Olaf is no exception. The main antagonist for the majority of the series, obsessed with claiming the fortune of the Baudelaire orphans. Over the course of the series, he appears in each location the children find themselves in, from steel mills to a reptile zoo to a carnival. Each time, Count Olaf assumes a new disguise in his pursuit of the kids, fooling everyone but them with his distinct personas. He may be a murderer with a flair for arson but Count Olaf is always a lot of fun, hammy and over the top in his villainy. Yet, at the end of the series, he manages to become a sympathetic figure and even allies with the children against a worse evil before he meets his demise, showing perhaps that he was more complicated than we thought.
7. Big brother- ‘1984′
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Less a character than a symbol of tyranny and oppression, Big Brother is nonetheless the ruling leader of Oceania in 1984. Never seen in person, Big Brother might just a symbol of the tyrannical Party but that doesn’t matter. People believe he exists and the Party reinforces this belief to the oppressed populace. Posters decorate the city that bear the now famous slogan ‘Big Brother is watching you’. The message is always clear: Big Brother sees all and if there is dissent, he knows. Big Brother becomes akin to God, a portrait of a tyranny realized at its terrifying conclusion.
6. Mr. Croup and Vandemar- ‘Neverwhere’
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Croup and Vandemar are a double-act, a pair of villains who are hired to track down the heroes in Neverwhere. It is not made entirely clear what they are but they’re not human, that’s for certain, as they have a habit of eating live animals and sometimes, chunks of furniture! Croup is a small fat man who is possessed with a verbose style of speech while Vandemar is his brutish partner who barely speaks and specializes more in killing things. The pair certainly make a memorable impression whenever they’re onscreen, serving as an excellent and terrifying pair of evil thugs who can’t be stopped by regular weapons.
5. Regal Farseer-‘The Farseer Trilogy’
Regal Farseer is a vain and cruel prince in line to acquire the throne in the fantasy kingdom of Buckeep. However, his plans of ascension are thrown into a snag when a bastard son of his father, Chivalry Farseer, called Fitz (the protagonist) comes to Buckeep. Regal is aware of Fitz’s heritage and plots to kill him. He eventually acquires the throne throughout the trilogy and Fitz is brought into conflict with his half-brother to get it back. Regal embodies jealously, cruelty, and arrogance, being one dark and vicious prince.
4. Randall Flagg-‘The Stand’
Described as Stephen King’s ‘ubervillain’, Randall Flagg appears through Stephen King’s multiverse to wreck constant havoc. He first appears in The Stand, as a demonic cult leader trying to establish a new society filled with his loyal followers after a plague has destroyed the Earth’s population. Flagg seemingly meets his end when his blown up by a nuclear warhead but reappears throughout further Stephen King works, revealing himself to be an immortal sorcerer who travels throughout space and time, his ultimate goal being to climb The Dark Towerto become a god. Assuming a vast number of identities, Flagg is always a manipulative, dark presence who strikes fear whenever he appears, no matter the setting or genre.
3. Professor Moriarty- ‘Sherlock Holmes’
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Even if you’ve never read a Sherlock Holmesstory, you know this guy. Moriarty appears in The Final Problem, becoming famous as the antagonist who would (temporarily) kill Sherlock Holmes. There, Holmes has penetrated his criminal organization and is forced to flee across the country from Moriarty’s wrath. The pursuit ends on Reichenbach Falls, where the two fight and seemingly plummet to their deaths. Moriarty never appears directly onscreen, as the novel is narrated by Watson who never crosses path with the criminal leader but he is practically an overlord of the London underworld, just as brilliant as Sherlock but uses his mind for evil. It’s no wonder Moriarty was promoted to Holmes’s archenemy, he became such an iconic figure that adaptations see fit to use him as Sherlock’s ultimate enemy.
2. Dolores Umbridge- ‘Harry Potter’
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Forget Voldemort, Dolores Umbridge is a far more evil character because of how real she feels. Seemingly a sweet little lady, Dolores Umbridge reveals herself to be sadistic, cruel, and hits all the buttons to make her hate throughout the series. She interrupts Dumbledore during the Feast, she speaks to the students as if they’re a bunch of small children, she punishes Harry for his misbehaving by making him carve the words “I MUST NOT TELL LIES” over and over again into his skin while she watches with a sweet smile. Dolores hides behind her position of authority to inflict her sadistic whims on Hogwarts and its a sigh of relief when gets what’s coming to her at the end, although some think it wasn’t enough for this woman.
1. Sauron- ‘The Lord of the Rings’
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The titular Lord of the Rings, Sauron is unique among fantasy evil overlords in that he never appears directly in the trilogy but his presence consumes everything and he’s responsible for every evil act in one way or another. A former Maiar, a divine angel, Sauron turned away from the light in his lust for power and crafted the One Ring to rule Middle-earth. But the forces of men and elves fought against him, destroying his physical form. Sauron took years to establish himself again, confining himself to his tower in Mordor and building a dark army to conquer Middle-earth while searching to regain the One Ring to claim ultimate victory. Sauron is arguably scarier for how he never appears, only referenced by Gandalf, Saruman, and Gollum but the way they speak of him, how they describe what he is, leaves no doubt that he is one of the greatest villains in literary history. Sometimes, the imagination is more powerful than what we can see.