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Chapelwaite: Why The Stephen King Series Changed Its Title From Jerusalem’s Lot

“Jerusalem’s Lot” is a name that will perk the ears of any Stephen King fan. While the beloved author has created a number of fictional but memorable municipalities over the course of his career – some of the most iconic locations being Castle Rock, Maine; Hemingford Home, Nebraska; and Sidewinder, Colorado – the darkness related to the town best known as ‘Salem’s Lot in King’s books has allowed it to stand as a fan-favorite for decades.

Recognizing this begs a question: why did the new Epix series Chapelwaite, based on the short story “Jerusalem’s Lot” by Stephen King, change its title?

Having followed the development of the new show since it began, I had this query on my mind for months – but fortunately I recently had the chance to have it addressed by the filmmakers behind the show. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview co-creators Peter Filardi and Jason Filardi and producer Donald De Line last week during the virtual press day for Chapelwaite, and when I asked the aforementioned questions, De Line explained that the change was necessary because of a rights issue. He explained,

You know, that's an interesting question. They're doing Salem's Lot, if I'm not mistaken, guys, at Warner Bros., or it's in development as a feature, right? So something was involved with the rights chain of title, about titles. So while the material was available, the title had a little issue.

First published in the 1978 collection Night Shift, the story “Jerusalem’s Lot” was written by Stephen King as a prequel to what was his second hit book, 1975’s Salem’s Lot. But while they both take place in the same eponymous region of Maine, the events in the short are set more than a century before those in King’s vampire novel, and there isn’t much overlap in the material (it hones closer to H.P. Lovecraft than to Bram Stoker). Still, the titles were evidently close enough to cause a conflict between the developing Epix series and the Salem’s Lot adaptation that is currently in development at Warner Bros. As a result, the small screen project had to change its name to Chapelwaite (though events in the show do still take place in Jerusalem’s Lot).

The new title comes from the estate at the center of the story – which is the ancestral home of the Boone family. In the series, Captain Charles Boone (Adrian Brody) moves into Chapelwaite with this three children, having recently lost his wife to illness, and they plan to start a whole new life in Maine. Unfortunately, the Boones have far from a sterling reputation among the locals, believed to bring plague and evil wherever they go, and while living in the house Charles begins to discover that there actually may be good reason to be afraid.

The new Salem’s Lot movie, which is set to be directed by IT screenwriter Gary Dauberman, is still working its way through development, but Stephen King fans can rejoice as Chapelwaite’s debut is now just days away. The premiere will air on Epix this coming Sunday, August 22, at 10pm ET/PT, and the first three episodes will be available in full on both the Epix Now app and on VOD.

To learn about all of the Stephen King projects that are currently in the works, head on over to our Upcoming Stephen King guide, and for a deep dive into past film and television adaptations check out my Adapting Stephen King column.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.