Stephen King’s novels have been made into movies (and stage shows, and comic books) dozens and dozens of times over the years, starting with ‘Carrie’ in 1976.
In a new interview with Deadline, the prolific author has detailed which adaptations have his seal of approval… and that he still doesn’t like 'The Shining’.
“I think 'The Shining’ is a beautiful film and it looks terrific and as I’ve said before, it’s like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it,” he said.
“In that sense, when it opened, a lot of the reviews weren’t very favourable and I was one of those reviewers. I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I didn’t care for it much.”
He added that it was the treatment of Jack Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance, the caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, which upset him.
“The character of Jack Torrance has no arc in that movie. Absolutely no arc at all. When we first see Jack Nicholson, he’s in the office of Mr. Ullman, the manager of the hotel, and you know, then, he’s crazy as a sh*t house rat,” he says.
“All he does is get crazier. In the book, he’s a guy who’s struggling with his sanity and finally loses it. To me, that’s a tragedy. In the movie, there’s no tragedy because there’s no real change.”
He also adds that he’s never regretted allowing a filmmaker to adapt one of his books.
“Never. I never did, because to me it was always a case of go on out there and do the best picture that you can and if it was a success like 'Carrie’ or 'The Dead Zone’, I can say, you know, that’s my story. 'Stand by Me’, there’s another one, 'Shawshank Redemption’, 'Misery’.
“I’ve had a lot of things where I felt, been able to feel really pleased about the outcome. And if it doesn’t work so well, I can say, well, they went out and they gave their best shot but I didn’t have anything to do with it. I’m just a bystander in this car wreck.
“I have a number that I like, but I love 'The Shawshank Redemption’ and I’ve always enjoyed working with Frank. He’s a sweet guy. Frank Darabont. And I love the Rob Reiner thing, 'Stand by Me’.
And the worst?
“I guess there are a number of pictures that I feel like, a little bit like, yuck. There’s one, 'Graveyard Shift’, that was made in the eighties. Just kind of a quick exploitation picture.
“I could do without all of the 'Children of the Corn’ sequels. I actually like the original pretty well. I thought they did a pretty good job on that. Of the smaller pictures, the best one is probably Cujo, with Dee Wallace.”
Image credits: AP/Rex Features