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10 Stephen King Stories That Should Be Made Into Movies


There have been tens of adaptations of Stephen King's novels and short stories, but surprisingly there's still a good amount of his work that hasn't been been adapted for film. That is a crime.

Here are a few of the King stories that have so far resisted adaptation but shouldn't for much longer. N.B. This list does not include adaptations that are currently in development/shooting, so don't go shouting at us about missing Cell.


The Regulators

An autistic kid named Seth gains the power to control his hometown thanks to an entity called Tak, which has possessed him. Given Seth’s televisual obsessions, the town becomes a hybrid of old west pastiche and sci-fi monster playground. It’s a highly surreal story of a child’s strangest imaginings seeping into everyday life, but with all the opportunity for visual excess and unpredictable plotting that suggests.


The Dark Tower

Obviously. It’s the most grandly ambitious of King’s stories and one that’s been on the brink of film adaptation for years, yet is once again wallowing in development hell. It concerns Roland Deschain, the final member of an order of knights in a magical Old West world and his quest for The Dark Tower, the nexus of all universes. Good luck to whoever finally adapts it because this is a story that for all its beauty and depth, is so sprawling and bizarre that it makes Lord of the Rings look like a doddle.



Written with King’s son Joe Hill, author of the excellent Horns, Throttle is influenced by the Richard Matheson book Duel (which became an excellent movie by Steven Spielberg), but instead of a battle between a terrified motorcar driver and an unseen truck driver it’s a stand-off between an unseen truck driver and a group of motorcycle outlaws. Duel is a superb film that’s been seen by relatively few people, so ripping it off for an update isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

A story of a girl who becomes separated from her mother and brother during a hiking trip and is left alone in the forest waiting to be rescued. Aside from being just an against-the-clock thriller, it also has elements of fantasy as the little girl, Trisha, begins to imagine an evil wasp-faced being is hunting her down.



A man discovers a portal that will allow him to travel through time, but only between the present day and 22nd November 1963. He uses this portal as a way to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy but finds that messing with the past has consequences in the present. It’s a big old lump of a book, so would require a lot of pruning to become a film, but there’s definitely something in the messing with timelines, like a non-comedic Back To The Future.


Doctor Sleep

Making the sequel to The Shining into a movie is probably a no-brainer, if you’re a movie executive. Sure, the original movie is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made and following in the footsteps of Stanley Kubrick is a fool’s errand, but there’s money to be made, dammit. The plot of the second book follows a grown-up Danny and his discovery of another girl who possesses psychic powers like his and the people who want to kidnap her for their own means. Any adaptation would bear no resemblance to the first Shining film.



Another ghost-centric story, given a bit of extra spooky oomph by virtue of being set in an old amusement park. A university student takes a job at the Joyland amusement park and is told by a fortune teller to expect two encounters with unusual children. Those encounters lead to a ghost in the haunted house and an unsolved mystery.


The Long Walk

Like a less elaborate Hunger Games, The Long Walk sees one hundred boys participate in an event in which they must walk with a pace over 4mph, without rest or eating anything beyond basic rations. If they slow down they get a warning. If they get three warning’s they’re shot. They’ll keep walking until there is only one left, who will be given everything he wants for the rest of his life. Friendships and rivalries are formed as the walk progresses and rules are broken. Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead) owns the rights but hasn’t done anything with them.


Blockade Billy

You don’t get a lot of sporting movies based on Stephen King books. Blockade Billy tells of an unpromising young baseball player who is called up by the New Jersey Titans in a moment of desperation and who turns out to be a phenomenal player. However, Blockade Billy, as the man becomes known, is not quite what he seems. This is one of King’s less fantastical novels and the right director could pull off both a great sporting underdog story and a psychological thriller.


Big Driver

From the Full Dark, No Stars collection, Big Driver tells of Tess, a mystery writer who suffers a flat tyre after driving over a plank studded with nails. She’s offered help by an apparently kindly truck driver, who quickly turns on Tess and rapes her and leaves her for dead. The part that would make it a cracking thriller is Tess’s decision not to go to the police but to take matters into her own hands, exacting revenge on her attacker and getting vengeance for all the other women he’s killed.



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