Monday, June 25, 2012

News from the Kingdom: June 26, 2012

Let's have a look at what's been going on in the wide world of Stephen King-dom, shall we?


The Rock Bottom Remainders, June 22, 2012

Well, The Rock Bottom Remainders have played their final gig.  This is something I haven't been able to muster up much interest in, to be honest.  To me, the band has always been something I file in the same mental category as Red Sox baseball: it's something I'm interested in if King is writing about it, but otherwise, it gets a big shrug from me.


Anyways, here is an article talking about the lead-up to the final concert, and here is another which is a review of that concert.  It sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Perhaps most notably for King fans, the author called in to the Mark and Brian radio show a few weeks back, and his entire segment -- which runs for nearly half an hour -- can be downloaded here.  King sounds like he's having a blast, and Mark and Brian -- who apparently have never talked to King before, or seemingly ever heard him speak to anyone else -- are blatantly blown away by the guy.

Welcome to the club, fellas.

*****

Let's talk movies.  The Carrie remake is continuing to fill out its cast, with Judy Greer and Portia Doubleday signing on to play Miss Desjardin and Chris Hargensen, respectively.

Here's Greer, whom you might recognize from The Descendants, or perhaps The Village or Adaptation or Arrested Development:




I think she is a great choice for the gym teacher.  She has a sort of haunted look, as well as a chipper-yet-distraught quality that ought to serve her really well for the role.  Plus, she's just adorable.  Speaking of which, here's the best hi-res shot I could find of Portia Doubleday:




This is a still from her appearance in Youth In Revolt, a very odd Michael Cera movie.  This is the only thing I've seen Doubleday in, but she was great in it, and I suspect she is going to be really good as Chris.

Speaking of Carrie, here is a link to a behind-the-scenes look at the recent revival of the infamous musical.  It's worth a look.

*****

In other movies news, Jonathan Demme recently gave an interview in which, among other things, he discusses how the screenplay for his proposed adaptation of 11/22/63 is coming.  Apparently, he is working with King himself on the project, which is not necessarily a good thing, in my view; after all, King is the screenwriter of Maximum Overdrive and Sleepwalkers, so ... yeah ...

Demme is asked whether the storyline of the film will end up being the same as the storyline of the novel, and he is rather evasive on the topic, mentioning that the novel has "a dozen movies" in it.

Uh-oh.

I say "uh-oh," but what I really mean is "well, no duh."  And I don't mean that as a slap at Demme.  What I mean to say is that there is simply no chance of a movie version of 11/22/63 capturing the scope of the novel.  You'd have to break the novel into a trilogy of movies if you wanted to get even close.  This is no surprise, then.

So, what is likely to get left out?  Demme does not specify, but we can probably make some educated guesses, and I'd wager that the entire subplot involving Harry the janitor will be going bye-bye.  So no Derry, no crossover with characters from It, and no race to stop the hammer-wielding murderer.  From there, it's obvious that cuts will have to be made in order to shorten Jake's romance with Sadie, but it probably can't be eliminated altogether, and I'm not immediately certain how it can be effectively told in a single movie that is also telling the Oswald plotline.

This is going to be a tough one, and frankly, I'm not sure it's doable.

*****

Here's another interview with a film director: Tom Holland, director of Thinner and The Langoliers, who is ramping up toward an adaptation of the King short story "The Ten O'Clock People."  He was interviewed by Hans at Lilja's Library, and has some interesting things to say, especially regarding the ending of Thinner, which was apparently altered quite a bit as a result of poor test-screenings.

Personally, I'm not a fan of either of Holland's King-based films, although I do love Fright Night, which was also his baby.

I do, however, wish him well with The Ten O'Clock People, which -- done correctly -- could serve as a great slice of paranoid sci-fi/horror.

*****

I don't think I've ever mentioned it here before, but there is an excellent blog devoted to the Stanley Kubrick version of The Shining called The Overlook Hotel.  It is run by Lee Unkrich -- that's right, famed Pixar director Lee Unkrich -- and is a bit of a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes photos, fan art, and other ephemera.

Do yourself a favor: go check it out.

*****

Now, finally, for a couple of weirdo news items which don't really have much of anything to do with Stephen King in a concrete way ... except that they kinda do.

Item the first: this news report from Kuala Lumpur, which is titled "She's set to give Stephen King a scare."  Now, leaving aside the fact that a proper headline should have capital letters for each word that isn't an article, let's investigate what that could possibly mean.  As it turns out, the story is about a new author, Kathryn Chua Min Xi, who has apparently just completed Midnight Walking, a fantasy/horror novel.  The new novelist is a mere seventeen years old, and seemingly just graduated from high school.  What does any of this have to do with Stephen King?  Not a damned thing ... except to illustrate that even halfway around the world, in Kuala Lumpur, in 2012 new horror novelists are being compared to Stephen King.  If you ever doubt the length of the shadow this man has cast, remember this.

Item the second: this news report, in which it is revealed that this past Thursday (6/21/12), the oddly familiar-sounding town of Bangor, Maine, hosted a daylong zombie-attack-preparedness exercise.  The drills apparently involved over a hundred rescue workers from eight different Maine counties. And here is what I have to say about that:

This zombie bullshit needs to stop, people.  Why?  BECAUSE ZOMBIES DO NOT FUCKING EXIST.  They are a fiction.  Society, for some reason, has been really focused on the idea of a zombie outbreak lately, and I can't decide if my culture is engaging in a little harmless real-world cosplay, or if it has suddenly become full of people who actually think the dead may step out of their graves and begin chawin' on the innards of the soon-to-be-no-longer-living.  Either way, there are better things to worry about, aren't there?  I mean, shit, go see Brave or something.  Buy some comic books -- no, NOT The Walking Dead -- and chill out.  Drink a Coca-Cola.

Something.

But stop worrying -- or "worrying" -- about motherfucking zombies; you're embarrassing yourself.

And that has been "Bryant Judges You," brought to you by this piece of Reese's pie I'm about to go eat.  Yum-yum...

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