It may feel like every single Stephen King work has already been adapted for TV or film, but in reality there are plenty of his novels and short stories that have never seen the silver or small screen. That doesn’t meant that these works are less deserving or bad, it just means that Hollywood hasn’t gotten its hands on those sweet, sweet rights yet. Here are 6 of those works that deserve to someday see their narratives visualized in digital HD.
This novel actually fell out of print because it describes a school shooting when those things were only occasional tragedies became the tragedies that happen almost once a month every year. Written under the pen name Richard Bachman, Rage is about a high school student who goes on a violent rampage through his school after a difficult and abusive childhood. This is a topic that, sadly, is not going to stop any time soon and so it might be better to address the topic with a story that gives it the correct level of gravitas and nuisance, which King’s novel does.
I’m actually pretty surprised this never made its way to the silver screen while Thinner did. Heading back to the bat-shit insane town of Derry, Maine where the habitants don’t just have to worry about evil clown-aliens and inside-pooping aliens, but a super demon known as the Crimson King. This book lays out the path for the highly popular Dark Tower series that, if the Marvel movies have proven anything, the world is finally ready for. Not to mention the imagery itself would be disturbing enough to stand on its own and become a new horror classic.
4) Black House
Nothing says horror like evil dogs and clowns and cars, apparently. But when Stephen King tires of such things, he still writes stories about good ole fashioned serial killers. This gruesome tale of imitation, murder, and cannibalism is something right off the heels of the Hannibal TV show and is honestly such a disturbing and a great mix of reality and trippy fantasy. Combine a thrilling cop drama happening parallel to the storyline and you’ve got yourself movie magic already written out. Fans of Mr. Mercedes will flock to this one.
3) The Long Walk
One of Stephen King’s pure sci-fi novels, which honestly sounds something more like Philip K. Dick would write, The Long Walk is pretty self-explanatory. It’s about in the distant future of America, a hundred teenage boys get to compete in the “Long Walk” of the title, a race of sorts as far down the east coast until only one walker remains, either not by getting shot by the guards after falling under the pace or dying of fatigue to get whatever wish they want. Basically, it’s a death march solely for the purpose and enjoyment of an authoritarian government — very subtle, King. While it might not seem like the most thrilling plot, Maze Runner is even more repetitive and it got a movie, and at least this has political satire.
2) Doctor Sleep
For those of you not aware, Doctor Sleep is the sequel to the much beloved and much feared novel The Shining, which is already an excellent movie (and somewhat-passable mini-series). The reason why this needs to be adapted is not because the Kubrick film needs a continuation, but even if all the references to the previous book were gone, it’s a great story of psychic battles and strategy. Sure the ending is a bit anti-climatic, but that’s nothing a little Hollywood magic couldn’t fix. Even still, the nods to the original and a similarly creepy atmosphere would make this an excellent movie.
I love this book, love it with a passion that is unnatural. I own the book version and because I needed something to listen to on long flights, I got the audiobook version. What I love so much about this book, and what would make it an incredible film is the long journey for the protagonist to get to the fated day of the Kennedy assassination to change the future. That often-joked-about-never-realized plot for many a film, this book asks would you sacrifice 5 years of your life in a desperate attempt to better the future? It’s one of those novels that mixes in bits of fantasy without over-using it or over-relying on it to try and make the plot make sense. There’s so much to love about this book, especially the main character and his dedication to a quest he doe not know if he can complete. It’s just begging to be a three hour epic drama.