Stephen King fans are being spoiled this year! With Pet Semeteryout in theaters and It: Chapter 2 fast approaching, another adaptation of the horror master’s work is also taking form. According to AV News, Apple is producing another King adaptation for its own Apple TV+ streaming service. The book adapted will be Lisey’s Story, psychological blend of horror and romance centered around a female protagonist: Lisey Landon.
Image Via Wikipedia
The book is about Lisey dealing with the death of her husband, a former author with a dark past and some magical powers. The adaptation will star Julianne Moore in the titular role as Lisey. J.J. Abrams and his studio, Bad Robot, will be helping to producce the series. Its unknown when the series will commence production but we hope to see it soon. Might even be worth subscribing to Apple TV+ for!
Are you excited about this adaptation? Let us know in the comments!
The Netflix/Lifetime show You,an adaptation of the novel of the same name, has been a controversial one. While receiving critical acclaim, including a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, rave reviews, and a reneweal for a second season, the show, has garnered criticism for what some view as its overly sympathetic portrait of the show’s protagonist and narrator, Joe Goldberg, portrayed by Penn Badgley. Despite Badgley’s character engaging in stalking and eventually murder, the character sparked considerable sympathy from fans of the show, a lot more than perhaps the creators intended, despite his horrific and creepy actions throughout the season.
The latest opinion on the series comes from the King of Horror himself, Stephen King, who tweeted his thoughts on the series. The tweet can be seen seen below:
YOU: Interesting adaptation of the Kepnes book. What's fascinating is the contrast between Joe's relationship with Beck (inward and neurotic) and his relationship with Karen, which seems more outward and adult.
It is clear that King, like so many others, enjoyed the adaptation and considered it an ‘interesting’ counter to the book. He seems to praise Joe in particular as a fascinating character, considering the two sides to his personality depending on who he interacts with. It would be great to get King’s opinion in the form of a longer piece but considering his writing schedule, we doubt he has any time.
What do you think of You? Do you agree with King’s opinion? What do you think of the adaptation and the novel? Tell us!
JT LeRoy is making headlines again, but this time it’s because the film of the same name based on this literary debacle has finally gained distribution after its breakout premiere at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival.
Let’s back up. In 2000 came Sarah, a fictional novel that was written and based on the life of JT LeRoy. The next years came a collection of linked stories, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. According to Vanity Fair, “[t]he books were mostly well reviewed, and even critics who didn’t care for the prose, or found the disturbing subject matter overwrought as art, paid obeisance to the horrible contours of the life”. Who can blame them?
JT LeRoy purported to be the son of a drug addict mother, who had his first sexual experience as early as five. He was raped, beaten, addicted to heroin, and homeless by the time he was thirteen. “He was H.I.V.-positive. He cut himself. He burned himself. He associated love with brutality and exploitation, could only feel human connection through physical pain,” Vanity Fair writes.
Image Via Decider
While the books were fiction, the trauma certainly wasn’t. The public wanted to see this person who wrote down his pain and soon enough they did. At least, it seemed that way.
JT LeRoy came on the literary scene with his red fedora, big sunglasses and a blond wig. The Guardian recalls how “Everybody on stage seemed to be in awe of LeRoy. He was chronically shy, it was explained, hence the disguise. When a question was addressed to him, he answered in a nervous mumble, barely audible or decipherable. He would then whisper into the ear of Argento or Emily Frasier, and they would speak for him: “JT says …'”
He became a sensation, riding the line between mainstream and cult status. The Guardian also noted how “[s]oon he had amassed an impressive following: Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, Nancy Sinatra, Matthew Modine, Gus Van Sant, Rufus Wainwright, Shirley Manson, Jeremy Renner, Rosario Dawson, John Waters, Michael Stipe, Carrie Fisher, Winona Ryder, Courtney Love, Billy Corgan, Tom Waits. LeRoy achieved what many artists dream of: cult status combined with mainstream celebrity.”
With friends in high places and a face that everyone couldn’t get enough of it, a film was put into the works. Asia Argento adapted The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things into a film. It starred Argento himself as well as Peter Fonda, Marlyn Manson, Michael Pitt, and Dylan and Cole Sprouse.
Here’s the problem: Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy is a pseudonym for Laura Albert. The JT LeRoy who had been walking around? That’s Savannah Knoop, Albert’s boyfriend’s half-sister.
In 2008 came Savannah Knoop’s memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroyin which she recounted her story about the whole debacle. Come 2016, the Hollywood Reporter wrote that, “Kristen Stewart, James Franco and Helena Bonham Carter are circling the biopic JT Leroy, a Hollywood-set transgender story.”
Well, Kristen Stewart won out.
In 2018 Vanity Fair reported that the film would be a “….coming-of-age love story, as Savannah—while in disguise as JT—falls for an actress named Eva Avalon (Diane Kruger). Boundaries are blurred on different levels as the two have a fling, and Savannah finds herself pulled between her affection for Eva—who does not know her true identity—and a boyfriend in San Francisco, who does.”
That sounds might interesting! So interesting it got Kristen Stewart to join the project. For those unaware, Kristen Stewart, fresh from her Twilight days, has been focusing on getting indie projects off the ground. This got her attention, and she ended up in a staring role “as Savannah Knoop, the artist who helped author Laura Albert (played in the movie by Laura Dern) dupe the public into believing the myth of JT LeRoy.”
Image Via W Magazine
The film was a highlight at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival, and has been duly awarded distribution. Deadline broke the news, saying, “Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group is near to closing a U.S. rights to the Justin Kelly-directed drama. UPHE Content Group will set a U.S. theatrical release for the film and also gets in the deal some international rights that include Benelux, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and South Africa.”
Will you check this film out when it comes to a theater near you?
Wizards are a classic staple of fantasy literature and it’s easy to see why these characters have been fascinating readers forever. From the classic image of the wizard as an old man in a pointy hat to more modern interpretations, wizards endure thanks to their varied abilities, cool characterizations, and usage to explore the fantasy realms they inhabit. But who are some of the best?
Here are top five of the coolest and best wizards (in our opinion) of fantasy literature.
5. The Crimson King from The Dark Tower
Not all wizards are good. Many throughout literature have been downright evil, with the classic image of an evil sorcerer becoming a well known fixture of various novels. No villains of this caliber have become as far reaching as The Crimson King, the main villain of The Dark Towerand indeed, Stephen King’s literary universe. Introduced as a powerful and mysterious embodiment of evil, the Crimson King’s influence is felt across multiple universes, where he controls others to do his bidding. He appears as the dark force setting in motion the novels Insomniaand Black House, before he is properly revealed to behind the destruction of the Beams in The Dark Tower universe which holds reality together, plotting to rule the chaos that will follow.
The Crimson King takes many forms throughout Stephen King’s novels, appearing as Satan, a handsome young man, and withered old man with crimson eyes. He is the ultimate evil and although his powers are not explicit, it is known that he uses mind control to keep his men in line, as well as probably being a shapeshifter.
4. Rastilin Majere from Dragonlance
Dragonlanceby Tracey and Margaret Hickman is basically a Dungeons and Dragons campaign chronicled in novel form. Rastilin Majere fulfills the common characteristics of a classic wizard but he’s much more dark and ambiguous in his loyalties than his fellow party members. Although physically extremely weak owing to a traumatic upbringing and his magical usage, Rastilin is extremely intelligent and adept with his extensive knowledge of sorcery.
He’s ruthless in his pursuit of power, viewing others as mere tools and is characterized as arrogant, egoistical, yet possessing his own strange code of honor. He’s a fascinating character, instantly hatable yet strangely complex. This status as a fan favorite earned him the starring role of Dragonlance Legends, following him from his own twisted point of view.
3. Harry Potter from The Harry Potter Series
Image Via Harry Potter wiki
Harry Potter is one of the most enduring protagonists of young adult literature, made famous by the books and the movies to become a pop culture icon. Harry Potter himself is a great character, at once being a relatable POV character while also giving way to more nuanced characterization as the series goes on. We get to grow up with Harry, showcasing his uneasy steps into adulthood as he deals with mundane terrors such as schoolwork, girls, and bullies while the looming threat of Voldemort, who he is destined to destroy, looms ever on the horizon.
Harry Potter has flaws despite his Chosen One status, such as his temper and impulsive behavior, not helped by the pressure he’s under almost constantly. It makes him a hero for a generation, being just a regular kid thrust into the wizarding world to destroy the Dark Lord.
2. Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Ringsset the standard for fantasy literature in many ways and it provided the classic image of a wizard whom many draw inspiration from: Gandalf. Gandalf himself was inspired by Merlin, the iconic wizard of King Arthur’s round table. Gandalf is in truth (secretly) more akin to an angel than a wizard, he is a Maiar, servants of the universe’s counterpart to God, sent to Middle-earth in human form to aid the mortal races. Gandalf is forbidden to use his true power, so he nudges everyone forward in more subtle ways, getting them to work together and using his wisdom as their guide. Gandalf perishes in the first book of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but returns to life and is sent back to help the heroes as Gandalf the White, reborn with greater power and given permission to use (some) of his magic more explicitly. Gandalf, despite his wisdom, is often short tempered, mischievous, and sarcastic but considering all the Hobbits he has to put off, it makes sense that he’s a little stressed.
1. Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files
The Dresden Files chronicles the adventures of Harry Dresden, a modern day detective based out of Chicago, only he’s both a wizard and tackles supernatural cases. Working as a consultant for the Chicago PD, Harry tackles everything from werewolves to vampires to evil fairies to skin walkers. Harry’s life is a bit of a mess, as he’s generally anti-social, has bad luck with women, and suffers more and more with each book. Yet, he’s a hilarious protagonist, commenting on everything from a very meta point of view and making references to comic books to movies throughout his intense fights. Wielding all sorts of spells that he conjures with Latin words, not to mention magical items and allies, Harry builds up an impressive resume as he solves case after case, each one tougher than the last.
Who are some of your favorite wizards? Let us know in the comments!
Hulu’s hit Stephen King adaptation Castle Rock is returning for a second season, this time taking inspiration for the main plot from King’s Misery. Emmy-nominated Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls, Masters of Sex) will take the lead.
Yes, this season Caplan will take on the role of the dangerously obsessive Annie Wilkes, a former nurse who cares for novelist Paul Sheldon after he is injured in a car crash and breaks two legs. Throughout the story, Annie is preoccupied with Sheldon’s novels featuring the character Misery Chastain. As she reads, she becomes enraged by a twist in Sheldon’s plot, and decides she will do whatever it takes to make him undo his decision.
This psychological thriller was previously adapted into a movie by Rob Reiner and earned Kathy Bates an Oscar. It also became a play by Simon Moore. In Castle Rock’s take on the story, Wilkes is a superfan suffering from mental health issues. The story could potentially follow Wilkes prior t the kidnapping of Sheldon as her mental state deteriorates. This season will also include Elise Fisher most known from her work inEighth Grade and Despicable Mewho will play Wilke’s homeschooled daughter Joy, whose concerns are growing for her mother’s mental state.
Yusra Warsama (The Last Days on Mars) will play hospital director Dr. Nadia Omar and Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) will take on the role of her older brother who is building a Somali community center. In addition, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) will portray Reginald ‘Pop’ Merrill and Garrett Hedlund will be his nephew John ‘Ace’ Merrill (Tron: Legacy, Triple Frontier) and Ace’s brother, Chris will be played by Matthew Alan (13 Reasons Why). There isn’t any confirmation yet if The Sun Dog storyline will intertwine with Wilkes’ or if Merrill’s Emporium Galorium will be introduced. However, it is known that the Merrills will face tensions with the Somali community and Wilkes’ arrival in Castle Rock will definitely increase their rivalry.
The first season of Castle Rock was filled with Easter eggs and crossovers from Stephen King storylines and it appears that the second season will continue to interlock various plotlines and characters from previous King novels with the introduction of Anne Wilkes and the Merrills.
This season will arrive in late 2019 on Hulu with Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason returning as creators with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. I for one cannot wait for the second season and should probably brush up on the first season again so I can prepare myself of the twists and turns of what should be an intense and darker continuation.