As Stephen King fans are likely to be well aware of, there are a number of feature adaptations of the beloved author's work in progress. Some of them are having more success than others. The Carrie remake, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, is due out next year. And CBS recently gave a series order to the Under the Dome adaptation headed to the small screen next summer. But other projects aren't having quite as much success in making it to the big screen. Namely, The Stand and 11/22/63. Given the size of the books and the complexity of their stories, that's probably to be expected, but it's no less disappointing.
Last month, Ben Affleck was quoted as saying they were having a "very hard time" with the adaptation of The Stand. That's a story that's been adapted before, having been made into a miniseries back in the 90s that, while decently cast, really only scratched the surface of what King's post-apocalyptic story had to offer in the way of character development, the survival story and the central "good vs. evil" theme. Hearing Affleck describe it as "The Lord of the Rings in America" makes sense in terms of the scope of the story. And if they're looking at it like that, hopefully it means they're aiming for something really big with that adaptation.
Meanwhile, more recently, the adaptation for King's 2011 novel 11/22/63 has had a setback in that it's lost its director. We learned last year that Jonathan Demme (Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs) was on board to helm the time travel story's adaptation, but Indiewire now reports that Demme is off the project, and it sounds like it came down to the director and the author being unable to see eye to eye on the adaptation.
"This is a big book, with lots in it. And I loved certain parts of the book for the film more than Stephen did. We're friends, and I had a lot of fun working on the script, but we were too apart on what we felt should be and what be should be out of the script," Demme said, before confirming he was off the project. "I had an option and I let it go. But I hope it's moving forward, I really want to see that movie."
11/22/63 follows Jake Epping, a recently divorced teacher who time travels back to 1958 in an effort to change history and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. At 849 pages, there's obviously a lot more to it than that and summing it up into a story that fits the standard time for a movie is probably no easy task.
We've seen other King novels adapted for television and film, some with greater success than others. Those who liked King's novel may be disappointed to learn that it has lost its director (and hopeful that it finds a new one soon), but fans will likely agree that the most important thing is that it gets done right and the film does the story justice.
In the meantime, there's Under the Dome to look forward to at CBS, Carrie set to arrive in theaters next year, and Mercy in the works. And also in the works is a feature adaptation of Cell.