Stephen King is one of the most adapted writers of all time. It seems that every book he publishes is almost instantly adapted for a movie or television show.
That doesn’t even include all of the times one of his classic works is being adapted for a second (or third) time around for a new audience. And this trend shows no sign of stopping.
It’s wild to see how many television shows are currently in development that are based on the works of Stephen King. Even if some of these end up falling apart in development, King fans can rest assured that they will have some new TV series to enjoy over the next few years.
The Institute is one of Stephen King’s more recent novels, published in 2019. It tells the story of a young boy who is kidnapped and finds himself trapped in an institute designed to hold children with telepathic powers.
The rights for the series are currently at Spyglass television, with David E. Kelley, best known for his legal series like Boston Legal and Ally McBeal, writing the series.
The Jaunt is a short story from the early 1980s that can be found in the collection of Stephen King short stories titled, Skeleton Crew. The story takes place in a future where instantaneous transportation across long distances and even to other planets, is now common.
But the technology that makes it possible can have disastrous consequences when things go wrong. For a while The Jaunt was being developed as a movie with director Andy Muschietti attached to the project.
Ironically Muschietti would leave the project and go on to direct a much more high-profile Stephen King adaptation, the two-part IT adaptation from 2017 and 2019. Today The Jaunt is currently in development as a TV series by Dave Erikson, who co-created Fear the Walking Dead on AMC.
Joyland is one of the books that Stephen King has written for the publishing imprint Hard Case Crime. Hard Case Crime looks to recreate the feel of old, pulpy crime novels, down to the style of the covers and publishing the books straight to paperback.
Hard Case Crime publishes both new works and reprints of older pulp novels, but their Stephen King books are obviously some of the most high-profile works. Joyland takes place in a theme park where many of the characters take a summer job.
The book features Stephen King dipping into the mystery/crime genre that populated the pulp novels of the era. A television adaption was put into development in 2018, for Freeform, though there hasn’t been any news on any new development after the order for the initial pilot treatment.
Revelations is a show currently in production for The CW that’s based on the short story The Revelations of Becka Paulson. The short story was first published in Rolling Stone magazine and can be found in the Stephen King short story collection, Skeleton Crew.
The story is about a girl who begins to hallucinate a picture of Jesus telling her all the dark secrets of those around her, an idea that King would later adapt as a subplot to one of his full-length novels, The Tommyknockers. The short story was actually adapted for television once before in 1995 as an episode of The Outer Limits.
But it’s easy to see how the premise could be expanded into an hour-long drama series as well.
Sleeping Beauties is a novel that Stephen King wrote with his son, Owen King. The idea for the story was apparently Owen King’s as he and his father worked together to flesh it out into a full novel.
The book takes place during a mysterious event that causes all of the women in the world to fall asleep. The television rights for the series were sold in April of 2017, which is impressive given that the book wasn’t even released until five months later in September.
Currently the series is expected to air on AMC at some point in the future, with Owen King writing the pilot script.
The Talisman is one of the few Stephen King novels to have never been adapted as a movie or for television at all, though there have been plenty of attempts. The book was first published in 1984, and the project has been in various states of development for decades at this point.
Currently the book is being adapted for a series at Netflix. The Duffer Brothers, who created Stranger Things for the streaming giant, are helping to develop The Talisman into a series.
Welcome to Derry
There’s no question that the two IT movies from the past several years are the biggest Stephen King adaptations of all time. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. is keen to continue the success of the film franchise.
The way that they plan to do that is with a prequel series, Welcome to Derry, currently planned for HBO Max. Unlike the other shows in development on this list, this series isn’t based on any of King’s written works but is instead an original story designed to expand on what he wrote.
It’s not clear exactly when the show is supposed to take place, but in the world of IT, Pennywise had been tormenting the town of Derry for decades. There’s plenty of options when it comes to deciding where they want the prequel to take place.
Which of the following Stephen King stories are you most excited to see as a TV show? What is your favorite Stephen King story?
Share your answers in the comments below!