Wednesday, October 17, 2012

News from the Kingdom: October 16, 2012

Happy mid-October, boils and ghouls!

Which, yes, is a lame way to start off a blog post, but hey, whattaya want from me?  I spent most of the evening attending a reading by noted sci-fi/fantasy author Andy Duncan, whose work is so good that it makes these pathetic peckings of mine seem even lamer than they would already have seemed.  So I went with the first accursed line that popped to mind.  Give a poor blogger a break, willya?

Anyways, it's been a few weeks since I dashed off one of these columns, and the news has become backlogged, so let's get this convoy a-rollin'.

Most notable, I suppose, is the announcement that King's 2011 short story "The Little Green God of Agony" is being adapted as a web comic.

The adaptation is being handled by artist Dennis Calero, and will be appearing thrice-weekly (on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) over the course of the next eight weeks.  Lemme do the math there, that's ... (carry the six) ... twenty-four pages in all, which is about the length of an average comic book.

The comic will be appearing on Stephen King's official website, on a special page devoted to handling the adaptation.  You can find it here, and the first "episode" (i.e., page) went up on Monday, October 15.

I have several thoughts about this:
  • Cool!  I liked "The Little Green God of Agony," so I'm happy to see it getting some additional exposure.  That said...
  • I'm not sure I see this story as being a good fit for a graphic adaptation at all, and I'm positive that I don't see it working one page at a time over the course of eight weeks.  I might check in on it once a week or so, just 'cause I can't help myself, but it seems like it'd be vastly more satisfying to wait until the whole thing is out, and read it then.
  • I hope somebody -- IDW, maybe, or even Marvel -- will publish a print edition.  I'm cool with web comics, but I'm also old-school, and would like to have a print copy to add to my collection.  Better yet, maybe this will be just the first in a series of adaptations of King stories into the web-comic format, and they can all be collected at some point in the future in a nice hardback edition.
Regardless, it's cool to have Big Steve exploring the medium, and I hope you will all go check it out.

Scott Derrickson

Deadline reported this week that filmmakers Scott Derrickson and Jason Blum, hot off a solid opening weekend for their new movie Sinister (which Derrickson directed and Bulm produced), will be mounting a movie version of the Stephen King novella "The Breathing Method."  A screenplay, by Scott Teems, has already been written, and Blum's production company has purchased an option of the King story.

I have several thoughts about this, as well:
  • I love "The Breathing Method."  It is possibly my favorite story in Different Seasons, which is overall my favorite book by King.  I had long ago written off the idea of a movie version, though, because...
  • ...from a commercial standpoint, I simply don't know how you make a movie version.  Oh, sure, I know how you do it; it's all in the tone, and in building up to that marvelously awful Grand Guignol climax within the tale the doctor is telling.  However, I don't know how you convince somebody to give you a few million bucks to make it, because I don't know how you convince them that you, as a filmmaker, can produce a return on their investment.
  • This leads me to suspect that if the movie gets made, it will get made only with substantial changes intended to make the story scarier.  And maybe that works, maybe it doesn't; but it makes me skeptical.
  • Now, that said, I hear good things about Sinister, and I quite liked Derrickson's movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose.  I even rather liked his much-maligned remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, which is certainly not as good as the Robert Wise original, but has its moments.  So is he the right guy to make The Breathing Method?  I'm not sure, but I certainly don't count him out.
  • Fingers crossed for something good!
My guess, though, is that you can add this to the increasingly lengthy list of King movies that seem to be stuck in development: not only the infamous Dark Tower movies, but The Stand, the Jonathan Demme 11/22/63, the Cary Fukunaga It, the Showtime Under the Dome miniseries, the Paramount remake of Pet Sematary, the SyFy version of The Eyes of the Dragon, and Mark Pavia's The Reaper's Image, as well.  Seems like I'm forgetting something, too; maybe even several somethings.

Also, news on both The Ten O'Clock People and A Good Marriage has been scarce lately.  What's up with those?  Hell, they at least reached the casting stage.  (Speaking of casting, did you see this report about Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul Tweeting his desire to play Eddie in the Dark Tower movies?  Brilliant.  My friend and fellow King fan Brian Roberts called Paul as a great Eddie back when Breaking Bad first started airing; he was right then, and Paul's right now, and Hollywood needs to get together and make this shit happen.)

My point is, I'm hearing "wolf" cried quite a lot on the subject of King movies, and yet for the most part, the sheep all seem to be just fine.  Why has there been such a massive surge in putting King movies into development over the past few years?  Beats me, but until we start seeing some of these projects actually begin filming, I tend to believe none of them are going to actually happen.


There's one that's definitely happening, though!

Yes indeed, the new version of Carrie will be in theatres this March.  It's in the can, and this past weekend at New York Comic-Con, there was a big panel that got the marketing campaign underway.

The entire panel is available for viewing on YouTube.  I haven't watched it yet, for reasons that are unclear even to me (but mostly include my simply not having made the time to do so), but the web-wide reaction to it -- and to the unveiling of the first teaser trailer (which can be found here, and is indeed very much a teaser as opposed to a full trailer) -- has been quite positive.  There's a good write-up about the panel at io9, if'n you're not inclined to watch it for yourself.

[UPDATE:  I "watched" that video tonight.  The quality is terrible, video-wise; it's just streaming video somebody captured off their laptop or PC, and is really nothing more than a series of still images.  However, the audio is clear as a bell, and the panel is top-notch.  Among the revelations: that the movie WILL be rated R, and also that Julianne Moore is a big enough King fan that she could cite specific background info about the genesis of Carrie from King's words about it in On Writing.  She's obviously smart as hell, and I'd say the same for Chloe-Grace Moretz and director Kimberley Peirce.  Can't wait for the first full trailer to get a REAL taste of what this movie's going to be like!]

Can't wait, personally.  I have a feeling it's going to work, and if it does, you might see it kick open the floodgates for those other King adaptations that are seemingly in a holding pattern.

Let's hope so, at least!

Speaking of movie adaptations, didja see this photo in Entertainment Weekly?

That's Daniel Radcliffe, decked out in his Ig Parrish guise for the now-filming movie version of Joe Hill's Horns.  Readers of this blog know I'm a massive Hill fan in general, and a big fan of Horns in particular.  Radcliffe seems like excellent casting to me (provided his American accent doesn't suck), and I have to say, he looks pretty damn great there as Ig.

No release date has been set, apart from "2013."  Might we see the first trailer debut with Carrie in March...?

Hey, you never know.

Speaking of Joe Hill, his comic series Locke & Key (co-created with artist Gabriel Rodriguez) recently won the British Fantasy Award for Best Comic / Graphic Novel.


Now, allow me to say this: if you haven't read Locke & Key, you are a bad person.  It's just that simple.  Are you as bad as terrorists and meth dealers?  Well, that's not for me to say, is it?

What I can say is that it isn't too late to fix yourself, so start today: go out and buy all five extant volumes of Locke & Key.  You won't regret it.  And it just might qualify you to go to Heaven.  Again, I can't say for sure.

But wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry?

A few other links of note:

Here is a story about how Damien Echols (of the West Memphis Three) used Stephen King books to teach himself to write while on death row for a crime he did not commit.  I'm not terribly knowledgeable about the West Memphis Three, but I know I ought to be, and reading this interview with Echols has really piqued my interest.  (Not, you will notice, "peaked" my interest.  And that has been Vocabulary With Bryant!)

Here is a story about a high school in Florida that, to celebrate the Halloween season, has mounted a ... comedy based on Carrie?!?  Apparently so.  One wonders if this is licensed in any way; one suspects not.

And finally, here is a story about a Sacramento high school that is considering banning Different Seasons from the library due to the rape scene in "Apt Pupil."  How depressing.  Even more depressing: the sole student on the committee making the decision who is in opposition to the ban is also the only one who has actually, well, you know, read the motherfucking book!  (Which means that she is also the only one who knows there are WAY worse scenes in "Apt Pupil" than the rape scene...)

On that semi-depressing note, I bid you adieu.  Until next time, I'm Tom Bodett, and we'll leave a light on for you.  Or something like that.


  1. Aside from Carrie, the only projects in that list I’m I’m willing to bank on would be Affleck’s Stand, Demme’s 11/22/63, and Tom Holland’s Ten o’Clock. However even with those I‘m writing this on ice in case none of them pan out.

    As to Breathing Method, I see several ways they could expand on the story and keep it within the parameters of the novella. They could divide the movie into two sections in one.

    The first half would revolve around narrator and his invitation to the club, introducing Stevens, the other members et al, and chronicling his investigations into the club and it’s library with things getting continually spooky the more the narrator goes on, all this without showing but implying much out of eye-shot.

    The first part would be atmospheric set up for the second half of the film, which would be the doctor’s story, along with a brief epilogue in which the inner immensity of the club is eluded too, maybe with a final shot of twisting hallways ending on some Lovecraftian visage.
    The other idea is keep all of the above but weave in another tale centered on the club, “The Man who wouldn’t shakes Hands.”

    The problem here is wondering if that would break the narrative and turn it into half and anthology film, and now that I think of it, that would drive the budget up and the golden rule of Tinseltown is thou shalt not spend money to make thy movie. Right up there with no fighting in the war room. Anyway, those are just some ideas.

    On a concluding note, here’s a review of another Tom Holland project, courtesy of…the guy, what’s his name? He’s the guy with the glasses. Anyway, here’s the Nostalgia Critic with his overview of The Langoliers. Enjoy

    Warning: there may be ads at the beginning of this clip. Just wait them out and the show will start. Copy, paste, and enter as usual.


    1. That dude is annoying as hell, but amusing; and that's an excellent evisceration of "The Langoliers" (a genuinely terrible movie).

      I like your approach to "The Breathing Method." Hopefully the filmmakers will have similarly good ideas!

    2. About That Guy with the Glasses, what he really is, is sort of odd, at least from a film critic perspective.

      Here's the thing, He seems to be a bit all over the place, he's nitpicker, yet he in insists on reality in a the one setting you're least likely to find it (i.e. fiction), and he seems to have problem with not just King but horror in general.

      He strikes me as one of those people who likes "some" horror, yet ins't an overall fan of the genre and it's basic rules in particular.

      The one other thing that I found odd about NC is...he's a Disney fan. No, no, I mean this guy seems to give waaaaaay too much credit to that studio than I think is due. The real weird thing is, I think he might be using Disney as his criteria of excellence....(Shudders).

      Oh well, he's the kind of guy you wouldn't want to run into at the movies, yet he's funny enough.


    3. What's wrong with being a Disney fan? I'm a Disney fan. I've got roughly as many Disney DVDs as Stephen King DVDs, in fact.

      Anyways, there's certainly puh-LEN-ty to criticize in "The Langoliers." I think most of what he says is spot-on. I wish he wasn't so shrill about it.

      Has he done other Stephen King movies, do you know?

    4. Has he reviewed other King movies? Ah, I'm glad you asked. Listed below are the other two King related reviews this guy's done, The Tommyknocker's and It along with and It commentary where he explains his take on Steve King.

      Also included is one bonus review of M. Night's Signs. If you're a fan of that film, see what you make of his take on it.

      One thing for certain, now you know I don't look forward to the idea of Bronson Pinchot as Lee Harvey Oswald.

      As for shrill, what can I say, he's Rudolph the oddball nitpick.

      Anyway, here are the links, enjoy, if that's sort of the right word.


      It Commentary




    5. As a rule, I don't watch stuff like that about movies I actually like, so his review of "Signs" is out.

      "It" and "The Tommyknockers," though? Oh, I'll be MORE than happy to check those out!

    6. I suspected as much on Signs. To be fair, I don't think NC really gets the film either. He seems too literal minded with not enough imagination.

      My counter argument (to NC) is if you feel that way about Signs, how can you like a film like Return to Oz and not the other.

      Hell, how can you call a film like Prince of Egypt?!!!!!


  2. ChrisC - you took the words out of my mouth with the "weave in 'The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands.' I think that's a great way to go.

    I've always wanted King to return to that club and tell us more. Maybe even make Stevens a Breaker or a reformed Low Man or something... the possibilities are tantalizing.

    Damn, that Carrie poster... just genius.

    Now that the West Memphis Three story has a proper ending, I highly recommend spending a day watching the Paradise Lost trilogy. Until the third one came out, I always hesitated recommending the first two, since they just make you mad/ depress you. But now! The third act has closed.

    1. Hey, thanks. I will say this much, only one man can play the character of Stevens, and his name is Steve King.

      Without him it just wouldn't be the same. Oh well.


    2. Yeah, I really want to watch that trilogy. Seems like it'll still be pretty damn depressing, but at least it has a happy(ish) ending.

      I'm totally with you guys on the idea of making "The Breathing Method" a semi-anthology. And yeah, I'd LOVE to see a return to the club.

  3. I really need to get around to reading some Joe Hill. I have HORNS, but so many books are in front of it, needing to be read. I will definitely get it read before the movie comes out.