The TV Adaptation That Stephen King Wants To Do Himself

stephen king on the late show with stephen colbert

Stephen King's name has been on everyone's minds lately, as the King of Horror is alive and well on the screens both big and small. Pennywise is tearing up movie theaters with Andrés Muschietti's feature take on IT, Mr. Mercedes is winning over TV audiences, and Hulu is pulling together a stellar cast for its all-encompassing Castle Rock series. Unfortunately, King himself isn't actually involved with any of those projects, but there is one particular adaptation of his own work that the author has his sights set on: Lisey's Story. In his words:

I'd like to see Lisey's Story done as a TV miniseries or a limited series. That's one I've held onto because that's one I might try to do myself. I might try to float that project if some of these other things are a success, because I've always loved that book, and I really thought that I got most of that one. And it's kind of overlooked. Otherwise, I can't think of anything in particular that I wish would be done.

Anybody who's kept up with Stephen King's massive bibliography knows that, while he can still cause chills down to one's inner bones, his storytelling in later decades is far different from the pure horror that he built his early legacy on. Published in 2006, Lisey's Story is just as emotionally fraught as it is psychologically terrifying, offering readers one of the more disturbing relationships in King's oeuvre. It's easy to say that all of the author's larger novels would be difficult to compact into a single film, and LIsey's Story is equally applicable there, since it really would take episodic TV in some form to give the narrative its due diligence.

To lay out the story quickly and non-spoilery: Lisey Landon is the widow of novelist Scott Landon, who died two years before the novel begins. After she finally starts clearing out his workstation, Lisey is forced to confront her husband's mysterious and violent family history, parts of which she'd forced herself to repress over the years. Things are only made worse when she becomes the target of an obsessive stalker. Plus, there's a somewhat magical location involved called Boo'ya Moon. It's truly as moving a novel as Stephen King as written, and I'm in full agreement that he "got most of that one."

While Stephen King doesn't directly state to Yahoo Movies how he would want to be involved in the creative process behind bringing Lisey's Story to TV, it would be interesting to see if he's actually want to pen the script or get behind the camera. King often keeps a fair distance from adaptations of his work, as not to impart anything on others' creative visions, but there were definitely times in the early part of his career when he tried his hand on the feature-making side. Those efforts include his lone directorial gig Maximum Overdrive, which came about during the cocaine-heavy portion of King's career, as well as screenplays for Creepshow, Cat's Eye, and Pet Sematary, among others. Not so much happening on that front recently, but Lisey's Story could open it all back up.

Points to him for saying he'd "float" the idea out there, too, since he's probably referring to the potential success of IT in that quote. Considering IT is opening on over 4,000 screens and is poised to be one of the biggest September movies of all time, box office success seems imminent.

While waiting to see if anything happens with Lisey's Story, there's a slew of other King projects for fans to enjoy now and in the near future. IT is currently in theaters, Mr. Mercedes airs on Audience Network on Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET, and Netflix has a pair of features coming with the novel adaptation Gerald's Game and 1922, based on the "short" story in Full Dark, No Stars. (King is particularly pleased about that one, too.)

And to see everything else that's heading to the small screen that isn't Stephen King-related, head to our fall premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.