Stephen King Is Taking Back The Movie Rights To His Classic Books

Could we see new versions of some of his key works?


Although Stephen King is one of the most adapted authors of all time, most fans would agree that many movies and TV shows based on his books have not lived up to the source material. For every Shawshank Redemption or Misery, there's a Lawnmower Man, Firestarter, or Running Man; even when the films themselves are enjoyable, they often deviate wildly from the novels.

It has now been reported that King is in the process of regaining the movie rights to several of his key works, suggesting that we could see new, more faithful versions. The news was first revealed by Zerner Law, who reported that King has started to regain the copyrights to The Dead Zone, Cujo, Creepshow, Children of the Corn, Cat’s Eye, and Firestarter.

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As the site notes, this process will stop the rights to adapt these works from passing to another copyright holder, and will ensure that they are returned to King. In order to do so, an author must "send a notice two years before the termination will take place and that the termination must occur within five years of the end of the 35 year period."

King began this process in August 2016, meaning that by August 2018, he will once more hold the rights to adapt these works. If a studio wished to, say, remake Children of the Corn, they must now negotiate with the author.

However, as Bloody Disgusting reports, there are already new versions of Firestarter and Cujo in works, which could be released if produced before King regains their rights. In addition, the arrangement only applies to the US, meaning that technically a remake of these stories could still be made and distributed outside the States.

In related news, the much anticipated movie adaptation of King's classic It hits theaters next week. In a recent interview with GameSpot, producer Seth Grahame-Smith explained that production on the sequel could start very soon. "We are locked and loaded and ready to jump in the minute they say 'go,'" he said. "The script is not done, but the script is being worked on. Obviously we, all the filmmakers, are just champing at the bit to get started, and we have a very exciting shape."

Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot's parent company

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