The work of Stephen King is as hot a property now as it has ever been. In just the last couple years we've seen adaptations of IT, The Dark Tower, and a remake of Pet Sematary. Now, one of the author's earliest works 'Salem's Lot is set for its first big screen adaptation and modern horror master James Wan is on board the project.
James Wan is set to act as a producer of the new 'Salem's Lot while Gary Dauberman, the writer of several installments of Wan's Conjuring franchise, as well as the recent Stephen King adaptation of IT, and the upcoming IT: Chapter 2, will pen the script. According to THR, the film is currently without a director, though Wan could certainly fill that void if his schedule permits, and Dauberman's directorial debut, Annabelle Comes Home, is about to bow, so he could take the chair as well, especially if that movie is well received.
'Salem's Lot was Stephen King's second published novel after Carrie and it's essentially King's version of Dracula. It follows an author (go fig) who returns to the small Maine town he lived in as a boy, Jerusalem's Lot, shortened by the residents to 'Salem's Lot, only to discover that the residents are turning into vampires. These new vampires have a source of course, which the author, named Ben Mears, finds himself at odds with.
The book has never been adapted as a theatrical feature before, though it has twice been made for television. First, in 1979 as two-part miniseries, then again as TV movie starring Rob Lowe in 2004.
While Stephen King is a go to source for theatrical inspiration these days, the results have certainly been mixed. IT was a massive hit, that much is true. However, the recent Pet Sematary remake has had a lukewarm reaction by both audiences and critics. The less said about The Dark Tower the better.
Having said that, this 'Salem's Lot adaptation is certainly starting out on the right foot. You can't new much better in the horror genre right now than James Wan. While he's still riding high on the success of Aquaman, horror is Wan's home and he clearly still loves it. While Wan has a number of projects in the pipeline as a producer, he hasn't signed on to his next directing job yet, so it's certainly possible this could be it.
The book is also one of Stephen King's personal favorites of his own work, so you can be sure he'll be watching this project closely.
This is certainly a lovely time to be a movie fan if you're also a Stephen King fan. Hopefully, with this strong pedigree behind 'Salem's Lot, this one will turn out a lot more like IT and less like The Dark Tower.