Stephen King On How To Appropriately Adapt His Books And Which Project Went ‘Entirely Off The Rails’!

Who doesn’t like Halloween? All of us do. But this Halloween, we are dealing with greater horror than the scary costumes, and because of the horror known as COVID-19, there are gonna be fewer trick or treats in 2020. This means more time in Stephen King’s world! When we talk about horror stories, the first name that comes to mind is Stephen King. Most of the great novels and stories are often brought on the screen from the pages, and Stephen King’s stories are no different. It indeed is a scary but happy moment for the fans when they watch a movie adaptation of Stephens horror novels. But the terrifying thing is a bad adaptation; it is a hundred times more frightening than a ghost. And if you don’t like The Shining, you are not the only one! Stephen King described it as a beautiful Cadillac without any engine!

This month (October 2020), Peacock started airing Mr. Mercedes, an adaptation of the trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End of Watch) by Stephen King. Recently Stephen King answered some of the questions that every filmmaker and all the fans want to know. Stephen King gave us an idea about how to make a good adaptation of his book, and which of the shows or movies wholly ruined the vibe for him?

When Stephen was asked about his views on the cultural shifts in his works’ adaptations, Stephen stated that there is a lot more freedom these days compared to the past. He added that you could literally take things where it was almost impossible to reach back in the day. You can think of it yourself; the monsters look so realistic these days, more real than humans! He also mentioned the role streaming services are playing also add freedom. King gave the example of Mr. Mercedes; all three seasons will adapt all three books of the trilogy.

According to King, giving a single thing too much time can squander it. There is a possibility that one might do a dull thing and end up spending a lot of time on it. King talked about the conventional TV series of the ’60s and ’70s; those shows were basically the same thing, like an hour needle, over and over again! He gave the example of The Blacklist and Law & Order: SVU, they might have new cases every episode, but we get to see the same people who cross the same obstacles continuously. King again brought up Mr. Mercedes, praising the show for having some sort of beginning and climax and various aspects of the show that can give birth to new stories. He admired The Sinner and The Killing for possessing the same quality. 

If you wonder what qualities King admires in the adaptations and what he doesn’t approve of, he likes Mr. Mercedes as the characters are doing things that King or any other person would do. On the other hand, Stephen thinks that Under the Dome went entirely off the rails. The reason for that is, people are doing unrealistic things. The iconic writer said, “if you are asking people to believe in the story, there’s gotta be some realism, characters cannot be Just cut off from the world!”

Stephen King also gave us a spoiler from the third season of Mr. Mercedes. King said that there are some events in the show that we won’t find in the book. He told us that there would be a scene in the third season where a guy’s nose was shot off, it’s not in any of his novels, but it fits the show very well and is highly visual. So, King doesn’t mind-altering things from his book as long as they are fitting.

If you are a big fan of Stephen King, now you know what he likes and what he doesn’t!

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