Stephen King may have terrified us for years with tales of psychotic nurses, vengeful psychics and clowns in the sewers, but it's hard to imagine anything scarier than the King of Horror himself hating a movie adaptation that you are personally responsible for.
It must have been with great trepidation then that producer Seth Grahame-Smith opened an email revealing that Stephen King had been shown a screening of his #It remake. After all, the prolific author has even been savagely critical of #TheShining, referred to by many as one of #StanleyKubrick's most iconic movies, so it's hard to tell what King would think of this already divisive remake.
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Does Stephen King Like The New 'It' Movie Adaptation?
Fortunately, Grahame-Smith revealed some extremely good news in this regard. It turns out that King counts the new movie version of It as one of the better adaptations drawn from his expansive bibliography.
"Steve asked me to pass along that he saw a screening of IT today and wanted to let everybody know that they should stop worrying about it as the producers have done a wonderful job with the production."
On Tuesday, King himself took to Twitter to personally express his approval:
This news is extremely promising. After all, the It remake has so far been met with a mixture of anticipation and dread, largely due to how fans still hold Tim Curry's version of Pennywise close to their heart. If the original author himself is happy, this certainly bodes well for fans of the source material. Then again though, it's entirely possible that King's taste in films may differ from your own.
With that said, let's take a look back at how the King of Horror feels about the numerous movie adaptations of his work that have hit cinemas over the decades.
What Does Stephen King Think Of 'The Shining'?
It's been remarkably well documented how much King dislikes Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining. While most fans are usually surprised by this revelation, it does make sense to a point. Sure, The Shining is now hailed as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, arguably transcending the genre itself, but Kubrick's film also takes a number of radical detours from the source material, which didn't exactly go down well with the King of Horror.
When asked recently what his thoughts were on The Shining, King told Deadline that;
"I think The Shining is a beautiful film and it looks terrific and as I’ve said before, it’s like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it. In that sense, when it opened, a lot of the reviews weren’t very favorable and I was one of those reviewers. I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I didn’t care for it much."
Deadline then asked King to clarify whether he still held this opinion now, to which Stephen replied;
"I feel the same because the character of Jack Torrance has no arc in that movie. Absolutely no arc at all. When we first see Jack Nicholson, he’s in the office of Mr. Ullman, the manager of the hotel, and you know, then, he’s crazy as a shit house rat. All he does is get crazier. In the book, he’s a guy who’s struggling with his sanity and finally loses it. To me, that’s a tragedy. In the movie, there’s no tragedy because there’s no real change. The other real difference is at the end of my book the hotel blows up, and at the end of Kubrick’s movie the hotel freezes."
The only one who endured a sicker burn in this whole affair was Jack Torrance himself, who met his demise in the fiery remains of the Overlook Hotel.
What Does Stephen King Think Of 'Graveyard Shift'?
Despite his reservations slash burning hatred for The Shining, King didn't name Stanley Kubrick's movie as the worst adaptation of his work. No, that accolade is reserved for Graveyard Shift, an exploitation film from 1990 which didn't even work as B-movie schlock.
It comes as no surprise then that King named Graveyard Shift first when asked which one of the adaptations based on his books was the worst. The disappointed author told Deadline that:
"I guess there are a number of pictures that I feel like, a little bit like, yuck. There’s one, Graveyard Shift, that was made in the eighties. Just kind of a quick exploitation picture."
It's hard to imagine that any director could have excelled with a script based on a short story featuring mutant giant rats, but even by that standard, the Graveyard Shift movie is far from a must-see.
What Does Stephen King Think Of 'The Children of the Corn' Sequels?
Not every single one of King's movie adaptations hits the mark, but when they do, audiences are then usually subjected to an endless tirade of straight-to-video sequels that bastardize the original source material, stretching the story in often unbelievable ways.
One notable example of this is Children of the Corn, which, while not incredible in the first place, was a fairly decent version of the original story. However, it's hard to imagine how this premise could have retained interest over the course of two or three more sequels, let alone the eight further installments that we were subjected to.
One of the directors responsible for these crimes against humanity tried to foolishly enlist Stephen's involvement. Instead, he simply received a letter from King's lawyer, explaining how the author refused to take part in the project.
"I could do without all of the Children of the Corn sequels."
You and me both, Stephen. You and me both.
What Does Stephen King Think Of 'Dreamcatcher'?
As the first novel produced by King following his horrific roadside accident in 1999, Dreamcatcher was welcomed by fans who were just happy that the author had survived and was still able to write. While the novel retains a fan base, Hollywood tried its hardest to ruin the story with an adaptation that was even messier than the faeces covered toilets from the novel.
During an interview with Time magazine, King off-handedly referred to the Dreamcatcher adaptation as "a train wreck," and we imagine that there are few out there who would disagree, including those actively involved in the project back in 2003.
What Does Stephen King Think Of 'Needful Things'?
As the last Stephen King novel to portray the town of Castle Rock before its destruction, there's a chance that the story of 'Needful Things' could play an important role in the Castle Rock TV show too.
Let's just hope that J J Abrams and the rest of the team working on that project do a better job than those who produced the original Needful Things movie. While there are far worse King adaptations out there, Stephen himself criticized the film during an interview with Lilja's Library, using Needful Things as an example of adaptations he wasn't happy with:
"Some of them were disappointments you know… Needful Things for instance but some of them are really fun to watch and I’m easy to please."
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What Does Stephen King Think Of '1408'?
It's not all bad though. While King holds some reservations about John Cusack's version of 1408, he seems more positive about the film than most of his straight horror adaptations, telling Deadline that:
"There were things about the 1408 screenplay that I thought were a little bit wonky actually, you know. There’s a part where you brought in the main character’s sad relationship about how his wife had died, she’d drowned, and he was kind of looking for an afterlife a la Houdini. I thought, well this seems a little off the subject. But it was great in the movie."
Critics agreed for once, awarding 1408 with an impressive 79% on Rotten Tomatoes.
What Does Stephen King Think Of 'Cujo'?
For every blockbuster adaptation of King's work, such as It and #TheDarkTower, there are plenty of smaller productions that have been celebrated to varying degrees of success.
During that aforementioned interview with Deadline, King made a point of highlighting how strong he felt Cujo was, explaining that:
"Of the smaller pictures, the best one is probably Cujo, with Dee Wallace."
Ironic, considering that Cujo himself is a monumental beast of a dog.
What Does Stephen King Think Of 'The Shawshank Redemption'?
Numerous filmmakers have adapted King's work over the years, but out of those who have tried and failed, the King of Horror holds a particular soft spot for Frank Darabont, who adapted The Green Mile, The Mist and The Shawshank Redemption.
When asked by Deadline if he had a favorite adaptation, King immediately professed his love for The Shawshank Redemption, explaining that;
"Oh yeah. I like, well I have a number that I like, but I love The Shawshank Redemption and I’ve always enjoyed working with Frank. He’s a sweet guy. Frank Darabont."
... A sweet guy who's made some pretty messed up movies. that's for sure. If you've seen the ending of The Mist, then frankly we're surprised that you're coherent enough to even read this article.
What Does Stephen King Think Of 'Stand By Me'?
Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption may be one of King's personal favorites, but when forced to choose just one adaptation that's closest to his heart, the prolific author chose Stand By Me, telling Rolling Stone that;
"Probably Stand by Me. I thought it was true to the book, and because it had the emotional gradient of the story. It was moving. I think I scared the shit out of Rob Reiner. He showed it to me in the screening room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I was out there for something else, and he said, "Can I come over and show you this movie?" And you have to remember that the movie was made on a shoestring. It was supposed to be one of those things that opened in six theaters and then maybe disappeared. And instead it went viral. When the movie was over, I hugged him because I was moved to tears, because it was so autobiographical."
King has written over fifty novels so far, many of which have been adapted to film, but out of them all, Stand By Me is certainly one of the best, featuring unforgettable performances from its young cast and a soundtrack that remains iconic to this day.
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Over the years, King has also commended adaptations like Misery and Dolores Claiborne, but the real question now is whether the It remake can live up the accolades bestowed upon the film prior to release. While we should still remain cautious until the remake hits cinemas on September 8, 2017, it's kind of hard to argue with the Master of Horror, right?
Stephen King has revealed his favorite movie adaptation of his work. but what's yours? And which ones did you hate the most? Let us know in the comments section below!