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Top 5 Stephen King Stories that Need Movie Adaptations ASAP

by  | September 19

Ever since I was little I loved a scary story. From reading Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to Goosebumps, the natural progression of my spooky reading habits led me to the granddaddy of the scary story, Stephen King. I was always a sucker for anthologies. I think the short story is usually the best and most conducive format for horror writing because you can take a lot of risks without having to devote a huge page count to weirder and more inventive premises. I gravitate to Stephen King’s shorter works, and they have produced some of my favorite films. The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, 1408, Children of the Corn, 1922, and The Mist were all based on King’s short stories and novellas, and there is such a treasure trove of untapped gold lurking in King’s anthologies. Here are the top five short stories/novellas that I think need to be adapted for the big screen ASAP. 

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

by Stephen King

My personal favorite Stephen King novella is his atmospheric and claustrophobic tale of an ordinary girl lost in the woods, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. After getting separated from her family, Trisha finds herself entering farther and farther into an Appalachian forest. With only her Walkman connecting her to the real world, she listens to Red Sox broadcasts with the hope that her favorite player, Tom Gordon, can root her in reality as things around her begin to get more and more sinister. Told from the perspective of a nine-year old girl, the story puts the reader in a situation where you are constantly unsure if the weird happenings in the forest are hallucinations or real threats, but regardless you are rooting for Trisha the whole way through. Trisha’s fight for survival is effortlessly cinematic and would make a perfect atmospheric horror entry into the King cinematic universe. Luckily, word on the street is that this story has been picked up for movie treatment, so this is less of a wish and more of wait. And I truly cannot wait.

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Gwendy's Button Box

Gwendy's Button Box

by Stephen King

In Gwendy’s Button Box, a 12-year old girl is faced with impossible choices between personal gain and potential destruction when a mysterious man gives her an even more mysterious box. As it draws on intense philosophical questions of accountability, Gwendy’s Button Box is easily my favorite entry of King’s most recent work. With a strong main character whose story arc spans childhood and early adulthood as she learns that some things are actually too good to be true and all decisions have consequences, this would be a great story to return Castle Rock to the big screen. And, I mean, honestly, stick Doug Jones in a little bowler cap as Richard Farris and you have an Oscar! Let’s do it!

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Everything's Eventual

Everything's Eventual

by Stephen King

“The Road Virus Heads North”...

A man buys a creepy painting at a yard sale on his way to Derry, Maine. The painter notoriously had suffered a psychotic break, burning all his works and killing himself. As the story unfolds and the painting begins to change, the man has to wonder if he is also devolving into madness, or if something much more sinister is afoot. This is a classic King story, taking something ordinary and adding a supernatural twist to it. Although previously adapted for television, it is absolutely time this got the big-screen treatment. You can find this short story in the collection Everything’s Eventual.

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Night Shift

Night Shift

by Stephen King

“Strawberry Spring”...

A serial killer stalks a small campus, killing young woman during a foggy spring. Eight years later he strikes again as another “Strawberry Spring” brings back the fog. The story has the claustrophobia of life on a small campus and focuses on the panic of the entire community, including the police as well as the students. When the killer makes a delayed return, it brings all those memories back. This. Story. Has. Everything. I’m talking a red herring. I’m talking a plot twist. I’m talking a coed murderer with a snappy serial killer moniker. This is one of King’s most adaptable stories, and I’m praying someone gives it the cinematic treatment it deserves soon. You can find this short story in the anthology Night Shift.

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Four Past Midnight

Four Past Midnight

by Stephen King

"The Sun Dog"...

What happens when Cujo meets the Goosebumps classic Say Cheese and Die? Look no further than the King classic novella The Sun Dog. After Kevin gets a brand-new camera for his 15th birthday, he is shocked to find it only takes the same picture: a dog pacing along a fence. But with each picture the image of the dog escalates in his attentiveness and aggression, forcing Kevin to seek help from a shop owner, Pop Merrill. When Merrill decides to try to profit from the phenomenon instead of destroy it, Kevin must use ever clue he can come up with to stop the Sun Dog from entering his reality. Another fantastic example of King making inanimate objects truly horrifying, this story has so much cinematic potential to bring us once again back to Castle Rock and all the dark happenings of its seemingly idyllic Maine town. You can find this novella in the anthology Four Past Midnight.

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Amy is a Legal Contracts Assistant at Simon & Schuster. She loves thrillers, contemporary fiction, and all things Stephen King! If she isn’t talking about her obsession with true crime podcasts like Last Podcast on the Left she is gabbing on about any and all things film. She loves reading in her favorite NYC bars, which you can see on her bookstagram, @boozehoundbookclub