Very few writers remained for almost five decades as referents of literature and pop culture at the same time. Much less with such a prolific production, of more than 80 published books, which does not distinguish genres or styles, and with a record of 350 million copies sold. If we add to these data more than fifty film and television adaptations of his novels, the result of the equation is called Stephen King.
The novelist from Maine and born on September 21, 1947, is considered one of the most successful commercial authors of the 20th century. He is also one of the most questioned by specialized critics, both because of the mercantile imprint of his production and because of the unliterary and extensive style of his writing. However, the narrative talent and the intelligent use of generating different types of emotions in the readers positions him as a consecrated writer of best sellers.
Influenced as a young man by legendary American writers such as Edgar Allan Poe Y H. P. Lovecraft, King’s decision to pursue a literary career was through short stories in magazines and comics. His first short story, published in Comics Review, dates from 1965, with the title “In a Half-World of Terror”.
Fame came to him Stephen King in the early 1970s, with the manuscript of a teenager with psychic powers. The novel “carrie” gave him renown. Published in paperback by double day, the book sold two million copies in less than six months. The success allowed her to get a contract for his next projects. “Salem’s Lot Mystery” Y “The glow” They positioned the writer as a bestseller.
From that moment on, the career of Stephen King He would find in the world of cinema a powerful ally that would help him expand his literary production, improve his contracts with publishers, obtain royalties for adaptation rights, and grow in popularity within the bookstore circuit. In 1976, with the premiere of “Carrie” (adapted by Brian De Palma), would rip off his link to the big screen.
“Carrie” by Brian de Palma (1976)
According to the writer’s statements, the novel about the life of carriea young teenager who suffer from bullying in high school and is disciplined by her fanatical mother, she draws inspiration from the days when King worked as a high school teacher.
Starring sissy spacek as Carrie White, and Piper Laurie as Margaret, both received Academy Award nominations for Lead Actress and Supporting Actress respectively. The film had a renowned box office success, and it became a benchmark for fantastic cinema at the time. It had a sequel and two subsequent remakes, the last one starring Julianne Moore.
Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” (1980)
The writer’s story Jack Torrance gets a dramatic turn when he’s hired to look after the strange Overlook Hotel. Recently cured of alcoholism, he goes with his wife and his son to the shelter, but coexistence will not be easy. Led by the British Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack NicholsonThe film differs markedly from the book.
Although King and Kubrick had strong disputes over the results of the shooting, the feature film is considered a cult film and an emblem within the thriller genre.
“The Dead Zone” by David Cronenberg (1983)
The Canadian filmmaker managed to make an adaptation quite faithful to the somber tone of the novel. Christopher Walken plays Johnny, a literature professor who suffers a car accident that leaves him in a coma for a long period. Upon waking up he realizes that he can observe with premonitions different facets of the individuals around him.
That puts him up against Greg Stillson, a sinister local politician represented by Martin Sheen. The novel had another adaptation as a television series in 2002 produced by USA Network.
John Carpenter’s “Christine” (1983)
The plymouth fury red model 1958 is the evil protagonist of the film directed by John Carpenter. The director of “Halloween”, carried out a medium-budget production and obtained a box office receipt that doubled it.
Transformed into a referential film by the filmmaker, the film in which he participatesn Keith Gordon Y Kelly Preston It was reviled by specialized critics at its premiere.
Count Me In by Rob Reiner (1986)
Based on the story “The Body” by Stephen King, published in the book “The Four Seasons” in 1982. The film expresses the drama of four friends who decide to search the rural wasteland for the body of a boy.
Rob Reiner’s feature film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscar, and catapulted young promises to fame river phoenix, Kiefer Sutherland Y Corey Feldmann.
“Animal Cemetery” by Mary Lambert (1989)
Inspired by the tale of “Monkey’s Paw” of the British writer W Jacobsthe horror novel is based on an event experienced by the writer, when he observed how a truck ran over his daughter’s cat on the road.
The film achieved outstanding results at the box office and established a referential link with pop culture, due to the participation of the punk group The Ramones on the soundtrack.
Tommy Wallace’s “It” (1990)
The original adaptation of the neighborhood siege of the macabre creature mimicked in Pennywise, was one of the first projects to be shown in miniseries format for television audiences. Made by Tim Curry and John Ritter, the popularity of the telefilm expanded in the 1990s at the height of the worldwide boom in VHS.
In 2017, the Argentine filmmaker Andy Muschietti He made the remake, becoming the highest-grossing horror film of the year. In 2019, the sequel is released It: Chapter Two“, with bill skarsgard again in the role of the evil clown.
Rob Reiner’s “Misery” (1990)
The most critically praised adaptation is “Misery.” Starring Katy Bates Y james caan, the film deals with the disturbing relationship between a writer crippled by a car accident and his circumstantial nurse. Bates’ brilliant performance as Annie Wilkes earned her the Oscar and the Golden Globe for Best Actress.
Frank Darabont’s “Green Mile” (1999)
The story, set in 1932, recounts the relationship between an African-American prisoner sentenced to death in a prison in the southern United States and his prison officer. Tom Hanks Y Michael Clarke Duncan star in the adaptation of the novel, published in six volumes, with a strong plea against racism and social prejudice.
“Doctor Sleep” by Mike Flannagan (2019)
The literary sequel to “The Shining” takes us into the adult life of Danny Torrance, played by the Scottish actor Ewan Mc Gregor. A cinematographic revenge of the writer to the adaptation of Kubrick, which materialized through a survey carried out by the novelist himself to his faithful readers, proposing a sequel in the life of the Torrance family.