Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors of his time and much of his work has been adapted for the screen. King’s novels, novellas, and short stories have provided the basis for films, television films, television series, miniseries, television episodes, short films, and even an opera. Some of his books have even proven so popular that they’ve been adapted multiple times – as the two theatrically released films, the TV movie, and the musical based on Carrie will attest. Because of that, it’s almost shocking when one of King’s works hasn’t been adapted for the screen. Here’s a brief glimpse into some of his novels that deserve to become movies.
Like father like son. Stephen King’s son, Owen, shocked the world when he became… a horror writer. While Owen King has produced his own body of work, including a novel, a graphic novel, and several short stories, he doesn’t seem to be too concerned with stepping out of his dad’s shadow – as evidenced by the fact that Stephen and Owen King wrote a novel together. Their collaboration, Sleeping Beauties, feels like a more gender-conscious take on Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The novel centers on a town in Appalachia that falls victim to the Aurora virus, a disease that causes women to form cocoons around themselves. Take a woman out of her cocoon, and she will either be a horrific zombie or a fearsome femme fatale. Much of the novel’s action takes place in a women’s prison, so a film or miniseries adapted from the novel could tap in the fan bases of both Orange is the New Black and Castle Rock.
Stephen King is often open about his literary influences; however, the appropriately titled Revival feels more like a throwback than most of his other work. The book takes obvious inspiration from both the Universal Frankenstein movies of the 1930s and Arthur Machen’s classic Gothic novella The Great God Pan. Revival revolves around Minister Charles Morton, a man gifted with the mysterious ability to harness lightning. After his wife is killed in a tragic accident, Morton tries to use his powers to communicate with people from beyond the grave – unaware of the horrors waiting for him on the other side. With themes of love, loss, faith, and science, Revival is a perfect candidate for film adaptation and would provide audiences with more substantial fare than your average Insidious sequel.
The Plant was Stephen King’s attempt at writing a Charles Dickens-style serial novel. Its plot revolves around a man who attempts to prove that magic is real to an editor at a publishing house. The novel ends with many of its central mysteries unexplained, as King never actually finished it. The fact that the plant was never completed is especially surprising considering that King is an author who can pound out a 300-page novel in his sleep. It would be an intriguing challenge for a screenwriter to adapt the novel with an original ending. At this point, it looks like King will never complete the story, but maybe someone else will.