What’s in store from Stephen King? Film round up for 2017

This month’s trailer releases have been a whirlwind for Stephen King fans.

With the long-anticipated The Dark Tower finally coming to fruition, It being transformed from TV feature into the fully fledged psychological horror of the novel, and The Mist returning for a creepy ten-part series – there’s plenty to be excited for in the coming months.

Stephen King has long been revered as the master of horror in the written world. With a huge catalogue of over 54 novels, 200 short stories, six non-fiction books and a host of producing, writing, and even directing credits – it’s safe to say he’s an expert in his field, which multiple awards across his 50-year-strong career attest to.

However, when his adapted work has been taken out of his hands, it can be pretty hit and miss on screens. The recent Under the Dome in particular received mixed reviews, most turning sour with the continuation of the series after its first run. As for film, The Children of the Corn franchise and Cell both have been panned by audiences and critics alike; veering too far for too long from their source material and turning a good thing very, very bad.

There’s plenty of examples on the other end of the spectrum through. This is the same mind behind the IMDB first place film (for many years now) The Shawshank Redemption, as well as The Green Mile, Pet Semetary, Carrie, 1408, and a whole host of horror, science fiction, and fantasy films that are blockbusters and cult favourites alike. With such a huge back catalogue of films, we can’t really blame him for a handful missing the mark.

When it comes to writing, King really does live up to his name – so what does he have in store for the new releases this year?

The Dark Tower has been a film of many knockbacks. Beginning its long and arduous journey in 2007 with J.J. Abrams at its helm, the film didn’t get the attention it needed due to commitments to Lost, with Abrams dropping out in 2009. From 2010-2015, Ron Howard took over the project, but removed himself as a director at the end of this period and took a back seat producing. From 2015 onwards, the now-director Nikolaj Arcel came on board for the project with an entirely rewritten script and a host of casting decisions, backed by Sony as the production company after a tumultuous few years trying to source funding.

Finally, ten years on, we have the sci-fi western we were promised many moons ago – and this one has Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey to make up for it. Spanning multiple dimensions and offering some seriously out-of-this-world visuals, the film looks worthy of the wait, and the three push-backs on its release date. The much loved series will finally see cinemas on the 4th August, and you can watch the trailer below:

As for It, the most recent trailer release came out earlier this week. Promising spine-chilling frights and a brand new Pennywise, there is plenty from both the novel and the old TV film that can be built upon. Whether Bill Skarsgård can live up to the iconic Tim Curry in the role is yet to be seen, but the snippets we have seen so far promise a whole new level of creepy killer clown. Also starring Finn Wolfhard (a.k.a. Mike from Stranger Things) and Nicholas Hamilton (seemingly King’s new favourite as he also will be appearing in The Dark Tower), fans of both the author and the original It are excited for what Derry’s sewers hold:

Last but not least, we have The Mist. With the 2007 film being a wonderfully innovative example of tense, brooding fantasy-horror and a reflection on society as we know it – the series has a bar to hit, and hopefully, raise. The Mist focusses on a rolling bank of, you guessed it, mist hitting town that makes the town unnavigable, with a group of shoppers trapped in a supermarket in an attempt to wait it out. Not only is it a particularly big driving hazard, but it turns out there’s terrifying monsters from another plane lurking in the white-out world, putting pressure on the inhabitants of the store to figure out how to both survive and move on from their tin-lined doom.

The TV series seems to be a reflection on the human condition of the narrative rather than its otherworldly content, ramping up the gore levels in the process. The clunky CGI of the film will hopefully be eradicated with this decision, but it’s still an interesting tangent from the original. As we have learned, deviating from King often leads to disaster in TV, so it’s a brave choice to make – unless they’re saving the fun stuff for the audience to watch for themselves rather than spoil it in the trailer. Let’s hope so:

This article was originally posted on The National Student.


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