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Gary Dauberman is a very, very busy man at this moment. With Annabelle Comes Home marking his debut as a director and continued role as the series’ writer, he’s already an active character in the world of horror. But with everything from the newly cancelled Swamp Thing to an upcoming remake of Salem’s Lot on his hands as well, the man’s got a lot on his mind.
And yet, it’s not enough to block out the fact that there was a chance that author Stephen King may not have liked IT Chapter 2 as much as he enjoyed IT when it debuted back in 2017. Well, not only has Gary Dauberman found out that King approves of his work, it’s given him a great deal of relief, as he expressed in a recent interview:
I can’t explain to you the relief I feel when he signs off on something or likes the work you’ve done. That’s the first person I’m trying to please when I’m adapting these things. It is an enormous amount of relief. I know I’m never going to be able to please everybody, so I just hope that he’s pleased. It really is a huge relief, and everything else for me is a bonus.
The story of Stephen King and his varying degrees of approval on adaptations of his work do run the gamut. While he wasn’t exactly a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, he’s warmed to some interpretations of his work that have stayed pretty faithful, while adding a new dimension to the work being presented.
So with a renaissance of Stephen King’s works heading to our screens large and small, his opinion on just how these different projects land is something that folks are keen to pay attention to.
But even with Stephen King enjoying IT, there was no guarantee that the second half of the story would be received as well. And with that previous film detailing the younger adventures of The Losers' Club, Gary Dauberman shared credit with previous writers Chase Palmer and Cary Joji Fukunaga; as they were previously attached to the project when Fukunaga was supposed to direct the project.
When director Andy Muschietti stepped into the chair and took over, Gary Dauberman was brought on to rework what’s now considered Chapter 1, and eventually he was granted sole writing credit for IT Chapter Two. A turn of events that, if we’re to trust Stephen King’s reaction to the film, shouldn’t dim anyone’s excitement in the slightest; and in his reaction to THR, allows Dauberman the opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief, while audiences all over are about to use theirs to scream.
And if the fact that Stephen King had previously expressed his approval for IT Chapter Two a couple of months ago didn’t convince us, his repeated trumpeting of the film’s praises while promoting the Doctor Sleep trailer definitely says it all. Claiming that Mike Flanagan’s sequel to The Shining would blow the world’s mind, or at least what’s left of it after Pennywise the Dancing Clown returns, it sounds like a rewarding/daunting time for horror fans.
Considering IT Chapter Two and Doctor Sleep open rather close to each other this fall, that’s a statement that sounds pretty reliable. With Pennywise returning to Derry on September 6th, and Danny Torrance revisiting childhood trauma on November 8th, Stephen King fans are only going to have about two months to make themselves presentable between mind blowing rounds of horror.
In the meantime, you can get dolled up and see Annabelle Comes Home, as the film is currently in theaters.