At long last, Gary Dauberman's Salem's Lot is nearly here. It was almost exactly three years ago that the project was announced as being in development, and Stephen King fans around the world have been forced to exhibit a great deal of patience while waiting for the film to come together. Now, it's only a few months away from theatrical release – and while the first trailer for the movie evidently isn't ready to be shown off to the masses just yet, this evening we got a special early look at the adaptation that has us over-the-moon excited for the upcoming horror feature.
This evening, Warner Bros. hosted their studio presentation at CinemaCon – the annual convention held in Las Vegas for theater owners – and while showing off their impressive slate for the year, the studio showcase the first ever footage from Salem's Lot. We didn't get to see a full 15 minutes from the movie like with Bullet Train last night, but the sizzle reel that was projected did showcase some awesome, scary material, and perhaps the most exciting part of all of it was recognizing key scenes from the book that are being brought to the big screen.
Which key scenes in particular? I'm so glad you asked, as I've broken down three of the exciting moments below!
Mike Ryerson Gets Attacked In The Cemetery
Poor Mike Ryerson. In Jerusalem's Lot, Mike is known as a lowly simpleton who does odd jobs for people, and sadly he ends up being one of the first victims of the vampire plague that ends up engulfing the small titular Maine town. The scene where he is attacked and turned is definitely a scary one, and the CinemaCon footage offered a brief look at what to expect from the key moment in the upcoming film.
Working at the cemetery, Mike Ryerson (Spencer Treat Clark) is given the responsibility of filling the grave of Danny Glick (Nicholas Crovetti), who dies after a bout with what doctors can only identify as some kind of strange anemia (of course, the medical experts are unaware of the vampire scourge at the time). While shoveling dirt, Mike hears knocking... and then he realizes that the sound is coming from the coffin that he is burying. Before he even has a moment to be scared, Danny – sporting a new pair of glowing eyes – charges at him... and while we didn't see the aftermath in the footage, everyone who has read the Stephen King book knows what happens (and even if you haven't, you can probably guess).
There's A Vampire In Matthew Burke's House
Of course, just because Mike Ryerson gets attacked in the cemetery doesn't mean that he exits the plot of Salem's Lot from that point on; instead, he actually becomes a noteworthy antagonist. This distinction is appropriate primarily because of an encounter that he has with Matthew Burke (Bill Camp) – a high school English teacher who is one of the few characters to recognize the vampire onslaught in Jerusalem's Lot – and that moment was briefly featured in the footage shown at CinemaCon.
The clip from the film didn't show a lot (mostly Mathew Burke cowering away from the monster that has ended up in his home), but it was instantly recognizable as the scene from Stephen King's novel, and I'm instantly anticipating seeing the whole thing play out on the big screen later this year.
Father Callahan Faces Off With Evil
Father Callahan (who is being played by John Benjamin Hickey in Salem's Lot) has become a fan favorite character among Constant Readers – particularly because Stephen King included him as a key figure in his beloved Dark Tower series, first appearing in the fifth book in the saga, Wolves Of The Calla. This isn't to say, however, that Callahan doesn't have some spectacular moments in King's vampire epic – and one of those sequences was teased in the Salem's Lot CinemaCon footage.
While I won't get too far into details for those of you who have not yet read the book, Father Callahan ends up having a key showdown in the third act of the story, and the first look at the movie seemingly showcased a notable shot from it – specifically one where Callahan is holding up a cross that is literally glowing in the presence of evil that is the vampire menace in Jerusalem's Lot. It's a powerful image, particularly when you know the upshot from the source material.
Being a ridiculously huge Stephen King fan, Salem's Lot was already extremely high on my list of most anticipated films coming out in 2022, but based on what was shown at CinemaCon, my excitement has discovered new altitude. The movie looks both faithful and riveting, and should be a wonderful treat for the Halloween season.
Salem's Lot features an outstanding cast including Lewis Pullman, William Sadler, Pilou Asbæk, Alfre Woodard, Bill Camp, Makenzie Leigh, John Benjamin Hickey, and Jordan Preston Carter, and it will arrive in theaters on September 9. To learn about the movie, be sure to check out our Salem's Lot Quick Things feature, and for updates about all of the Stephen King adaptations that are presently in the works, do yourself a favor and check out our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.