HAMMY’S TOP 10…POTENTIAL REMAKES OF STEPHEN KING FILM ADAPTATIONS

Stephen King’s IT is lighting up the jaded box office around the world as I’m typing this sentence. It’s hit the biggest opening weekend for a film released in September, for a horror film, and is the second biggest opening weekend for an R-rated film (just behind Deadpool). Right now, Hollywood executives must be trawling the back catalogue of Stephen King books to cash in on this gold mine. Of course, IT has a sequel to follow. On the negative side, The Dark Tower slumped (IT took more on one day than The Dark Tower did for its entire theatrical release).

Of course, Hollywood could pick a King novel that hasn’t been adapted for the big (or small) screen. But I think there a lot of films based on King novels that could be improved with a remake. Yes, I said the word remake in a positive sense! You have the titans of King adaptations, such as The Shining or The Shawshank Redemption, but what about those adaptations that plainly sucked? Or didn’t live up to the potential of the novel? Here are my Top 10 Potential Remakes of Stephen King Film Adaptations…(The Dark Tower needs to be remade almost immediately).

(Oh, by the way, click here for my review of IT !)

Warner Bros are definitely floating now…on piles of cash
  1. Thinner

A book by Richard Bachmann, King’s pseudonym, it’s about a man who’s cursed by a gypsy to lose weight…until he dies. Yes, it sounds a little silly, but it’s still an intriguing premise. The film decided to make fun of the premise, rather than present it seriously. Also, the film’s directed by Tom Holland…who by my calculations was only a few months old when Thinner was released. How could he have directed it??!? On a serious note, give it some grit, some darkness and good actors, and it could be a very good film. Accentuate the commentary about weight loss obsession and a lawyer trying to ignore the consequences of his actions and you have plenty of potential. Oh, and get the Coen Brothers to direct. They do great thrillers!

  1. Cell

Zombies are all the rage nowadays. Who doesn’t love The Walking Dead? In Cell, the zombies are created by mobile phones. Oooo, pointed social satire Mr. King! This is one of the more recent King adaptations, only coming out last year. But John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t make this awful adaptation watchable. I’m not sure how they could go wrong with it, but it’s even worse than those filler episodes of The Walking Dead. I just wanted Jackson and Cusack to die. Get this on the remake schedule immediately. And get that guy who did the Evil Dead remake to direct it. Fede Alvarez, that’s his name!

  1. The Dark Half

A King adaptation directed by George A. Romero? What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot, actually. This is a story about a novellist’s pen name coming to life and haunting the novelist. The novel covers familiar ground about dopplegangers and dark sides of personalities, but it’s gripping and terrifying all the same. The film, however, is dull. It doesn’t tease out the subtext of the novel. What went wrong, Romero (R.I.P., by the way)? There’s plenty of room in the film market for psychological horror. Get Darren Aronofsky to direct it.

  1. Needful Things

The novel may not be one of King’s best, but the film is a poor adaptation of a below-average King book. But it’s a tale of greed and corruption that would resonate today (hey, we’re ten years on from the credit crunch and not a lot has improved…). A shopkeeper opens a store and sells things the residents of the town desire/need. However, in exchange, he wants them to play pranks on their neighbours. Stories about people doing immoral things for their heart’s desire isn’t anything new, but the novel manages to put a clever spin on it (although drags the idea out far too much). Pick out the good bits, leave the bad bits. Get that guy who directed The Big Short to direct it…Adam McKay!

       6.Children of the Corn

How can a film about possessed children trying to kill adults be boring? Children of the Corn shows you how. All of the mystery is revealed within the first ten minutes of the film, leaving you a step ahead of the protagonists (who aren’t interesting, and the camera doesn’t seem to be interested in them either). The titular children veer from creepy to silly. A remake should stick closely to King’s original novel, so we get to know the protagonists before they’re under threat from possessed children. Get children who can act as well. Why not get the director of IT to do it as well?

        5.Dreamcatcher

Many King fans do not like Dreamcatcher, the novel. I do like the novel, with its mix of extraterrestrials, telepathy and life-long friendships. Fewer like the film. I don’t like the film. It’s a rushed, silly adaptation of a novel that misses out everything special about the novel and includes everything terrible about the novel. A remake could solve that with ease. Make someone actually read the novel more than once (and not skim-read it), take out the negatives and accentuate the positives. But they should keep Morgan Freeman. How could a tale about four lifelong friends trying to stop an alien invasion? Oh, in the novel there’s mention of Pennywise…Get J J Abrams to direct it.

  1. Pet Sematary

Now, the original film is decent. The story revolves around a burial ground that resurrects the dead. A father decides to resurrect the family cat, and later decides to resurrect his son who’s killed by a truck. However, the resurrected bodies soon turn evil and have a murderous streak. Sounds like an easy film to make, doesn’t it? There’s nothing wrong about Pet Sematary, it’s just a little dull in comparison to the novel. The resurrected kid isn’t as creepy as he should be, for starters. There’s plenty of room for improvement in a remake. It should be near the top of the list for Hollywood executives. As for a director…James Wan?

  1. Salem’s Lot

Okay, this is cheating. It wasn’t a film, but a TV miniseries back in the late 70s. It looks hokey and dated now, and lacks the terror and menace of King’s book. ‘Salem’s Lot is King’s take on the Dracula story in the 20th century is one of his finest novels. It deserves a big screen adaptation that does the source material justice (and gives us buckets of blood). Yes, the craze for vampires may have died out, but the craze always comes back, doesn’t it? This could be the film that brings it back. Get Guillermo del Toro to direct it.

  1. The Running Man

Far be it from me to criticize a science fiction film starring Arnie. But The Running Man loses a lot of its grit and darkness during its trip from book to screen. The film is light-hearted, full of one-liners and plays a dystopian future for an action-based playground. And Arnie isn’t exactly someone you feel could be threatened, do you? The novel is about a normal guy being chased across America in a gameshow called The Running Man. There’s no time for quips or one-liners. It’s a struggle of one man against the state. Of course, the ending may not be suitable for modern day viewing, but there’s definite room for improvement here. Get Matt Reeves to direct it.

  1. The Stand

Okay, this one is slightly cheating (like with ‘Salem’s Lot). The Stand was only made as an ABC miniseries. But it’s about as good as the IT miniseries (maybe a little bit better. But not by much). The Stand is one of King’s great and epic novels, about a virus that’s wiped out most of humanity. There are only a few survivors left, who have vision of a kindly Mother Abigail or an evil Randall Flagg. Who doesn’t love a story about a good against evil with the backdrop of a virus that wiped out most of humanity? There’s a lot more to the story (it’s a doorstep of the book), which means that Hollywood could split it into two or three movies. Hey, they’re splitting IT into two films! Just don’t make the film boring, like the miniseries turned out to be. Also, it’s involved in The Dark Tower mythology…Denis Villeneuve to direct? This is begging for a big screen adaptation.

Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?

Click here for my Top 10 Stephen King Film Adaptations

16 thoughts on “HAMMY’S TOP 10…POTENTIAL REMAKES OF STEPHEN KING FILM ADAPTATIONS

  1. badparentingweb September 12, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    Did you like the remake of EvilDead? I still haven’t seen it, but am a die-hard fan of the original trilogy… if you can even call it that.

    I thought Thinner was just crap, but I have pretty exacting standards and Mr. King’s novel-to-film adaptations usually end up sucking (except Cat’s Eye, which had that rad cameo by James Woods!). I’ll have to check out Cell… or maybe not. I like the thought of wanting Sam Jackson and John Cusack to die!!

    Yes, most of these films sucked a whole lot. Sorry, Steph-O, but sometimes your darkness (and crassness) doesn’t translate well to film. Much as I love Running Man, it’s kind of in an ironic way (but not entirely).

    I once read a short story he wrote (I think from Skeleton Crew) in which a guy gets revenge on a mob boss out in the middle of the desert in Nevada somewhere. I’d like to see that made into a short film. Maybe I’ll even find the title. Great idea for a post! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews September 12, 2017 / 5:08 pm

      Cheers!
      Did think of a post about King novels/short stories that haven’t been adapted to film that could be good films…might still do it!
      Did see Evil Dead remake, it was a decent horror remake! But heard Alvarez’ film Don’t breathe was a great horror. Never got round to watching it though.
      Yes, it is tough to translate King to film. Suprised that IT has done so well at the box office!

      Liked by 1 person

      • badparentingweb September 12, 2017 / 5:14 pm

        Wifey and I are seeing IT tonight, which was the real reason I wanted to respond to your post. Will give you my two cents tomorrow. Typically, Wifey and I have pretty high standards, so I won’t pull any punches and will be as honest about our reactions as possible. My students have given it really mixed reviews, but a few have said it’s the scariest thing they’ve ever see. I replied, “Now go rent some Werner Herzog.” They just blinked at me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hammy Reviews September 12, 2017 / 5:16 pm

          I probably judged IT too harshly, as IT is one of my favourite books ever, despite its weaknesses. I’d like to hear your thoughts on IT. But I doubt it’s the scariest thing people have ever seen…
          And Herzog? Why have him when you can have Michael Bay?!?!

          Liked by 1 person

          • badparentingweb September 12, 2017 / 5:28 pm

            Bahlahahaha! Bay was a much better reference. Herzog is great, not terrible, but I imagined my students trying to wrap their mind around Aguirre: Wrath or God or Grizzly Man. Anyway, we have Michael Bay and all of the nameless directors who basically do the same thing. Remember when explosions and mindless T n’ A were done right, a la Last Boyscout or Die Hard… or most things with Willis or Schwarzenneger. Even when they sucked, they rocked!!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hammy Reviews September 12, 2017 / 5:37 pm

              I saw T2 at the cinema a few weeks ago for the 3D re-release and it puts modern day action films to shame. Even though I’ve seen it a billion times, I never tire of it.
              To my shame, I’ve never seen a Herzog film…

              Liked by 1 person

              • badparentingweb September 12, 2017 / 6:09 pm

                You’ll live. For my money, and these used to be on Netflix (like almost ten years ago), I’d see Cobra Verde, Aguirre: Wrath of God, Woyzcek, or Fitzcarraldo. Great, ridiculous narratives starring Klaus Kinsky. The later ones are pretty hit or miss, although Grizzly Man is an awesome and absurd documentary.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Hammy Reviews September 12, 2017 / 6:50 pm

                  I’ll start with those then! Always feel the need to broaden my cinematic horizons

                  Like

  2. Paul Bowler September 12, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    I’d like to see these Stephen King films remade, as IT was so good, sure some of these will happen. I’d love to see Salem’s Lot get a remake, its my favourite King story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews September 12, 2017 / 5:18 pm

      I do love Salem’s Lot, definitely due for a re-read! I’m still not sure why it hasn’t been made into a film yet.
      Mayve I need to watch IT again, but I just couldn’t get into it. I did watch IT during the day, so possibly need a night time viewing…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul Bowler September 12, 2017 / 8:02 pm

        I’ve read Salem’s Lot so many time, love that book, its so creepy! Yeah, they did the TV movie of Salem’s Lot in 1979, that was good, but I’d expected them to do a remake by now. I thought the new IT film was good, its a big story to get into, went to see it in the evening so maybe that’s what you need to do?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hammy Reviews September 12, 2017 / 8:09 pm

          Yeah, maybe I need to rewatch it! Many people seem to love it.
          Really think IT would have suited a TV series. I think the same about The Dark Tower saga

          Liked by 1 person

          • Paul Bowler September 13, 2017 / 1:25 pm

            Yes, it would’ve worked equally well as a TV series probably. I’ve not seen the Dark Tower film, so don’t know about that. Most people I know saw IT and liked it as well.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. The Craggus September 13, 2017 / 6:55 am

    Have you seen the Salems Lot remake from, I think, 2004? Started Rob Lowe. Been meaning to check it out myself but haven’t got round to it yet?

    Liked by 1 person

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