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JohnC

Castle Rock - Stephen King and JJ Abrams

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Stephen King has, to be charitable, a mixed rate of success in TV and film. He is probably one of the best horror writers ever in terms of his bankability and his ability to be fair (yes I know Ramsey Campbell et al are brilliant novellists) . However King really has a tin ear for TV and film scripts.

 

I love his TV and film work including Needful Things (Sydow was superb) was so much fun and Dark Half and Monkey Shines with Romero was hokey but fantastic to watch. Even his TV/Film "hits" have their flaws (It,Salems Lot,Christine,Cujo,Needful Things).

 

Only when he doesn't have creative control do we usually see those novels brought to life brilliantly (Kubrick's Shining), OR when the director/producer is a slavish fan with an eye for the cinematic (Frank Darabont's work).

 

I can only hope this project falls into one of those latter categories as I love King's Castle Rock based novels

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Not forgetting Stand By Me, although I've no idea how much involvement he had. It's certainly not quite the story told by the book.

 

Always had a soft spot for his short stories as a kid, but must admit I've not read any of his work for years. The sense of it, the feeling of his universe – I don't think that can quite be forgotten though, and that's really quite something.

 

Totally in.

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4 minutes ago, Azure said:

Not forgetting Stand By Me, although I've no idea how much involvement he had. It's certainly not quite the story told by the book.

 

Always had a soft spot for his short stories as a kid, but must admit I've not read any of his work for years. The sense of it, the feeling of his universe – I don't think that can quite be forgotten though, and that's really quite something.

 

Totally in.

It is tricky to try and put a finger on it but King, in words, weaves a world I want to belong in. Alot of his (early) stuff is deeply based in being an American Teen in american (New England mainly) and I am a british guy from the midlands. And yet he writes in such a way I feel invested, the minutiae speak to me on some universal level and make me feel i want to invest in that world he creates. There is some universal truth he taps into.

 

Dark Half and Needful Things certainly did on some weird level even though I am not a cop from maine or visit odd shops in Castle Rock, even TommyKnockers which I know is not some people's favourties.

 

I think the perfect example was the Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon*. I am not even sure how that was received critically but personally I thought it was a triumph because how did he get me to relate to a young girl lost in america, there was no commonality, only humanity.

 

I have always felt it is a shame that his stuff doesnt work that often on big screen. I know people point to stuff like IT and say "oh yeah but tim curry and clown and etc etc" however the book was never about the clown. Cinematic adaptations just do not "get" the essence of KIng's output.

 

Stand By me adaptation King loves it but he didnt have much of a hand in it - he often got first dibs to write the screenplay (even Shining which Kubrick famously chucked) but in this case I believe Reiner had control and did change stuff... King liked it so much that when Misery came up he insisted on Reiner after the loss of Adrian Lynne (hoho).

 

* also Gerald's Game in a similar vein , I do not identify with anything and yet I feel every moment,

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I'm also a British guy from the Midlands, and yes his nostalgic life and times of white American kids from Maine somehow spoke to me, too. Part 1 of IT is pretty great and gives me the same kind of vibes as Stand By Me (which, perhaps unusually, is one of my favourite films), but goes downhill badly from there. 

 

One thing I didn't know is that the Nightmares and Dreamscapes short story collection was made into a series - or at least some of the stories. Any good? I was trying to remember what the collection was called, and there it is.

 

 

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Haven't seen it, in the 90s (and 80s) I slavishly watched every single adaptation, in cinema if possible, so I even saw Graveyard Shift in the cinema (it wasnt worth the trip) - in the same year as Misery so rough with the smooth with King adaptations :D

 

Since then I have picked up bits and bobs but missed loads mainly because alot became mini-series which i found bloated and lacking, I know some people love the Stand mini series but it is a poor poor imitation of the book. King himself is not the best adaptor, I mean go watch his take on the Shining, it is interesting to see author vs autuer director perspective but it is not a great mini series.

 

Oh and I reread what I wrote last night and I want to clarify that the two Romero films should not be lumped together, Dark Half is a bit of a mess but great fun, Monkey shines however is not hokey it is a brilliant film.

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I was quite surprised to see they're filming (or rather have filmed) a Gerald's Game adaptation. The story, If I'm remembering it rightly, is really quite light. 

 

The Mist was quite good from what I understand, and Misery was brilliant, but it's fair to say there have been more misses than hits. That said, it's not like the late 80s/early 90s where it seems like anything with his name on it got made into a movie (that felt like a TV movie in a lot of cases). 

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Gerald's game would be interesting. The plot is light but the story is intense rivetting stuff but alot of it is internal struggles (mimicing the external) which won't translate well to screen.

 

Then again 127 hrs worked so it isn't without precedent and the parallels are there, the novel spends alot of time on minutiae of "escape" but there are also flashbacks which could be inserted 127hrs style.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Azure said:

One thing I didn't know is that the Nightmares and Dreamscapes short story collection was made into a series - or at least some of the stories. Any good? I was trying to remember what the collection was called, and there it is.

 

 

I saw some of these and they were rubbish. Crouch End was completely ballsed up since it looks like they filmed it in Generic American Suburb and got Dick Van Dyke in as the dialect coach.

 

EDIT: Actually, looking at wikipedia I only saw Crouch End. Looks like they're up on youtube though.

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Really hope they don't stretch this out to multi seasons. They cocked up Under The  Dome by dragging it out. Let's hope they take 11.22.63 as a better template.

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It'll def be multi-season if it gets good reviews/ratings. I think it'll be able to swerve the trouble Under The Dome had because of the variety of characters involved. People not digging the kids from Stand by Me running into George Stark? Simple. Bring in Pennywise tormenting John Coffy on the Green Mile.

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On 21 February 2017 at 09:41, Clipper said:

 

 

Oh and I reread what I wrote last night and I want to clarify that the two Romero films should not be lumped together, Dark Half is a bit of a mess but great fun, Monkey shines however is not hokey it is a brilliant film.

 

Monkey Shines isn't King related though, is it? Creepshow, on the other hand, is, and that's a great little portmanteau of some of King's early short stories. King, Romero & Savini - what's not to like? 

 

I'm another British kid from the Midlands (if you can squeeze Sheffield into that description) or at least I was when I picked up my first King book (Night Shift) back in the early 80s, and had a similar connection with Kings characters, especially given that back then they tended to be kids or young blue-collar types, rather than the types of more elderly protagonists he tends to favour nowadays (following his own guid of "write what you know" I guess. I've started re-reading his books in chronological order (I'm on The Long Walk at present), which is a treat as, although there are many that have had multiple outings over the years, there are a few that I only read once and which should feel fresh as a result.

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4 hours ago, Professor_k said:

Saw the thread and momentarily confused Castle Rock with Fraggle Rock.  As you were gentlemen.

 

A dark Fraggle Rock from King and Abrams would be an interesting concept, though. 

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On 22/02/2017 at 09:20, g wings said:

Really hope they don't stretch this out to multi seasons. They cocked up Under The  Dome by dragging it out. Let's hope they take 11.22.63 as a better template.

 

What I found most jarring about UTD was the way they extended the original story by far longer than it needed, then tried to shoehorn in some unbelievable narrative that it had all taken place in about 2 weeks.

Anyway, fingers crossed this is more of the standard of 11.22.63.

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No love for this show? I found the newest episode, The Queen, to be one of the best episodes ( in any series ) I’ve seen in ages. Simply brilliant!

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