Stephen King: The Man Behind American Cinema Comes To TV
The author from Maine has been the nourishment for starving Hollywood executives as his stories keep on coming.
A terrifying child-devouring clown. A mysterious hotel. Eternal gunslingers.
All are characters in books that have nothing to do with each other. Their plotlines are fresh and different with twists hidden within the text’s crevices. Yet, they share a similarity. Every single monster that you were afraid of when you were a kid was born from the mind of the King of modern American literature.
Who do you think came up with the boogeyman?
Stephen King’s countless short stories and novels have been marking the revival of a deteriorating craft. He produces new material at rates that are unfathomable. New books are placed on the shelves every year, and if not, it’s an original short story in a magazine or online. The author’s voice is so unique and universally recognizable that he’s become one of the most supported writers in the world. King’s pieces like It, The Shining, The Dark Tower, and Carrie have so much prestige that they’re regarded as modern classics amongst readers of all ages.
Through his endless imagination and material, Stephen King follows in the footsteps of horror and fiction writers like Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft. King has become a versatile and living success by taking risks, as all creative writers must do.
King’s books are treacherous, intense, lengthy, and at their climax: pretty fucked up. No matter how frightening a King novel can be (let’s be real, It‘s 1138 page count are petrifying to the lazy reader), the esteemed writer maintains his audience’s adrenaline and attention focused. His characters are involving, relatable, and real. His monsters resemble each person’s hopeless nightmare. Yet, his books go beyond the horror genre.
The horrors of everyday life are conveyed just as much as the appearance of a long-legged, dancing creature. King creates a balance within his books that work to imitate and present universal emotions that his readers have experienced. That’s what makes his work captivating.
Not only in the literature world, but in the universe of cinema as well.
King’s impact on Hollywood is undeniable. Stand By Me, The Shining, and so many more have been celebrated widely. Don’t tell me that you haven’t seen The Shawshank Redemption! This man has conquered the creative ideas of both writing and film through his complex thought process. These movies are the paradigm for exceptional filmmaking and narrative development.
Just look at his efficiency: 59 novels published, 200 short stories written, more than 200 film adaptations made, and even musicals! If this doesn’t mark the evidence of his success, nothing else does. His books aren’t just spewed out for the sake of being published either. Stephen King puts his time and effort into the making of each story. He intricately threads the plot to go through a small needle that suddenly reveals a twist that leaves the audience in awe.
The same can’t be said for the filmmakers that have struggled to adapt to the visual side of King’s genius works. It’s not entirely their faults, though. It’s difficult to capture the same effect of his books and display it in 120 minutes on the big screen; especially because these novels feed off the realistic feel of pain and fear. King does so on purpose to expose humanity’s vulnerability, and reveal what is under each character if there is truly nothing left. He demonstrates the whole process within his thick books. So, it’s difficult to create such as a sensation of desperation within two hours.
Unless you make two films (way to go It).
Although, television has also infiltrated his innovative library. Castle Rock, a new Hulu show with three episodes out, works to establish a universe intertwining multiple of King’s works into one place. It’s too soon to say if it’s a hit or miss, but one thing is for sure, it will rake in viewers.
Under the Dome was another show that only lasted two years. While there was a lot of material to exploit in this series, it just couldn’t handle the pressure of living up to its expectations.
Then, there’s the movie that failed to make up for its production budget. The Dark Tower will be brought back as a television series in order to see if its constant cliffhangers can keep the audience as enticed as the book. The plot of this show is exhilarating. A gunslinger and a man in black are in an endless conflict, as one tries to destroy the universe and the other tries to save it. I’d pay money to watch that if it were good, which is why the book is the secure option.
Cinema has managed to complement its written predecessors in the past though. In fact, most successful and good movies are adaptations of works already out there. Is there any original creativity in the world left? Of course. There are always original films that play off of half-developed plots and the inability to focus on the sympathetic elements of characters. That’s not a question.
The movie business needs authors like Stephen King, though. Books already have established audiences and create a universe that already includes every aspect in question that a movie might need. Films rely on this to be good and provoke a suspension of disbelief that leaves the audience satisfied. If you’ve read King, you understand that there is actually more information than needed to keep a plot going, but for some incomprehensible reason, it’s necessary to the book. That’s just the magic of this author.
He writes what he wishes, and we read what he wants us to.
If you want to see more of King’s works that are in production check them out here (it’s astounding).