Guinness Superlatives, the group that awards the Guinness World Records, has named Stephen King the living author with the greatest number of motion picture adaptations of his work. This comes as no surprise, as it seems that nearly everything Stephen King writes is adapted into some sort of film. Many of these adaptations have become iconic horror movies, while some are lesser known. They are based on King's novels, short stories, novellas, and even on original screenplays.
In honor of some exciting new adaptations on the horizon, we decided to run down our favorite Stephen King writings that have been adapted for the small and big screen. Go ahead, read the source material for a film you love--you'll be glad you did!
"Children of the Corn," a short story from the collection NIGHT SHIFT, has spawned an ongoing horror franchise with sequel after sequel. The story follows a couple who accidentally hit a boy while driving through an abandoned town in Nebraska. They soon discover that all inhabitants over the age of 19 have fallen victim to an all-child, pagan cult that worships a demonic entity who inhabits the cornfields that surround the town. Now they must fight for their lives or become victims of this vicious cult themselves.
The beloved 1994 film, The Shawshank Redemption, is based on the novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption." The novella is the most satisfying tale of unjust imprisonment and offbeat escape since The Count of Monte Cristo. The film, which starred Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, was nominated for 7 Oscars.
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When novelist Paul Sheldon is in a terrible car crash on a wintry night, he is rescued by nurse Annie Wilkes, who just happens to be his biggest fan. But when his latest novel isn't to Wilkes's liking, Sheldon becomes prisoner to her violent temper. The novel is gripping and nightmarish and the 1990 film features Kathy Bates at her creepy, demented best.
King's novel Dolores Claiborne was adapted into the 1995 film starring (again) Kathy Bates. When housekeeper Dolores Claiborne is questioned in the mysterious, sudden death of her wealthy employer, a long-hidden dark secret from her past is revealed- as is the strength of her own will to survive...
The 1980 Stanley Kubrick film The Shining is undoubtedly the most famous adaptations of Stephen King's work. Who could forget Jack Nicholson poking his head through the wrecked bathroom door shouting "Here's Johnny!"? Iconic. The novel tells the story of the Torrence family and their move to the isolated Overlook Hotel after the father, Jack, gets a job as an off-season caretaker. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location becomes completely cut off from civilization and Jack begins to unravel.
Four Past Midnight
Stephen King's collection Four Past Midnight contains the novella "Secret Window, Secret Garden;" the basis for the 2004 film Secret Window, starring Johnny Depp and Maria Bello. "Secret Window, Secret Garden" is the story of novelist Mort Rainey, who is confronted by a violently angry stranger claiming that Rainey plagiarized his story--and he's come to right this wrong by any means necessary.
Under the Dome
King's novel Under the Dome was the basis of the 2013 television series. On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Tensions inside the dome rise as resources dwindle and power struggles arise. Can the residents of Chester's Mill band together to survive, or are they doomed to destroy one another?
The Green Mile
Stephen King's serialized novel, The Green Mile, was an unprecedented publishing triumph: all six volumes ended up on the New York Times bestseller list--simultaneously--while the 1999 film adaptation earned 4 Oscar nominations. At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, convicted killers await their turn to walk the Green Mile. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover a truth about Coffey that will challenge his most cherished beliefs...and yours.
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The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
The Dark Tower is Stephen King's epic 8-volume science-fantasy Western series following Roland Deschain, a.k.a The Gunslinger, on his quest to save his decaying home, Mid-World, by reaching the fabled Dark Tower, despite the efforts of The Man in Black to prevent him from completing his quest. The hotly anticipated 2017 film adaptation has King as a producer and stars Idris Elba as The Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black.
Stephen King's engrossing 1986 novel about the nature of fear and evil follows "The Losers' Club," a group of seven friends who are terrorized by and attempt to destroy a murderous, shape-shifting entity they refer to as "It," whose primary form is the horrifying Pennywise the Dancing Clown. It is being adapted into a 2017 film starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise; this adaptation follows the 1990 TV miniseries in which Tim Curry embodied the iconic clown.
See the full list at Off the Shelf, a daily blog that connects great readers with great books.
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