Film & TV

Adapting Royalty – Stephen King

Next time you’re considering a trip to the cinema, take a minute as you’re weighing up what to see and consider how much originality there is on offer. Although not necessarily true for the international and independent film scenes, Hollywood does manage to churn out a high proportion of remakes, sequels and most importantly, adaptations of other media. Whilst the quality and necessity of novel adaptations in particular are often questioned, there’s no doubt that some authors’ works lend themselves better to a big screen makeover. Standing head and shoulders above the competition is the superlative Stephen King.

Now some may argue that point, but I would counter that any man whose film adaptations have included such output as The Shining, Misery, The Green Mile, Carrie, The Mist, Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption (to name just a few) is peerless in terms of adaptability. So forget your Tolkien, Dickens, Rowling and your Wilde…America’s greatest horror writer is also the King when it comes to pages that demand the silver screen treatment.

Screenwriters can’t seem to fail with one of Stephen’s books in hand, however they handle the transition, which has plagued the works of other writers, it seems to translate into box office and critical success. Whether faithful or not to the source it seems to work and it’s seemingly irrelevant whether they tackle one of his tomes or spin out a short story such as Shawshank or The Green Mile. The fundamentals are there in the author’s text, the sense of the cinematic just oozes from every page. And never fear dear reader, there is surely more to come with a wealth of untapped King just begging to be picked up and converted to celluloid.

Joe Cunningham

Film & TV

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