Stephen King goes to the movies...

Reggie W

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So, a confession...it had been a very long time since I had read a Stephen King novel so, in October I decided to pick out one and give it a shot. I will admit I had not read one of his novels in a long time because I tend to find them hit or miss but I thought if I am going to revisit King through a novel, October was the perfect month to do so. The novel I had my sights on was Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining which I read back in 1980. However, before diving in I decided to read some reviews and turns out Cameron was not the only one disappointed in this one.

So, I looked through the other novels I had not read and stumbled across Revival, which sounded interesting and I had completely missed this one when it was released in late 2014. It also seemed to get a lot of great reviews calling it one of King's best. So, I settled on this one.

Suffice to say I was pleasantly surprised as this is an extremely well written work and I would say showed King has been improving his craft over the years. I don't want to go into specifics because if you have not read this one you should and it turns out this is one of the King stories currently in the works to be a major motion picture. The film is being written and directed by Josh Boone (director of The Fault in Our Stars and the soon to be released Marvel flick The New Mutants) who seems to be a giant King fan and is involved in several coming King adaptations (The Stand, The Talisman, Lisey's Story, My Pretty Pony) so he seems to be heavily into the business of bringing King stories to a screen near you.

It seems Russell Crowe either was or is attached to star in Revival.

So, has anybody else read this one and did you enjoy it as much as I did? I can say after reading it this is now the King film I am most looking forward to seeing.

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Back in November of 2018 I mentioned that King's novel Revival was in development to become a major motion picture and was to be written and directed by a guy named Josh Boone who was working at the time on a project called The New Mutants. He was at that moment also involved in no less than 5 Stephen King adaptations which seemed a lot but he kept saying what a massive fan of Mr. King he was. Boone's picture The New Mutants is set for release at the end of this month but as happens when pictures are in development things change and he is no longer doing Revival and Russell Crowe is no longer attached, which is good because I felt he was wrong for the lead.

Warner Brothers apparently really wants to make this picture and something wonderful (borrowing from Dave Bowman) has happened. It is now in the hands of Mike Flanagan. He has written his first draft, sent it off to Mr. King who read it and reports that he absolutely loved it.

Personally I really liked Flanagan's first couple of King adaptations in Gerald's Game and Doctor Sleep and my feeling is Revival has the potential to be a true horror classic...particularly in the hands of Mr. Flanagan.

Who knows the when and how this will get completed but I am very excited about this news.

Boone, not to be left out, did complete his TV miniseries of The Stand and Mike Barker is in the process of bringing Straub and King's The Talisman to the screen with Boone serving as one of the screenwriters.
 
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Reggie W

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For King fans check out this podcast where Flanagan discusses his love for the man and talks a bit about Revival.


A couple quotes from Flanagan...

“The novel focused on the relationship between a heroin-addicted musician and a dubious faith healer with a hidden agenda. The minister is obsessed with trying to find a way to communicate with his departed wife and child but ends up connecting to a Lovecraftian horror.”
https://bloody-disgusting.com/movie/3622295/mike-flanagan-says-adaptation-stephen-kings-revival-will-bleak-mean/#
What I love about it is it’s a return to cosmic horror, which I think is so fun. It is relentlessly dark and cynical and I’m enjoying the hell out of that. This is just bleak and mean and I like it for that. I haven’t gotten to end a movie that way since Absentia, maybe? Maybe Ouija?"
https://bloody-disgusting.com/movie/3622295/mike-flanagan-says-adaptation-stephen-kings-revival-will-bleak-mean/#
"This one was a really fun piece of material for me because I get to be like, ‘Oh, you want a dark ending? Okay. Cool. Get ready.’
 
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Malcolm R

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I didn't really care for the book of Revival. Maybe the movie will be better.

Haven't read a lot of King's recent output, as it seems like I keep being disappointed. I did just pick up The Outsider, so I'll give him another try at some point.
 

Detour (1945)

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Yeah, I had looked at it in the store two or three times over a month or so and put it back prior to finally buying it, so my expectations are low.

It's not that it's bad, it's exciting, but frustrating. I enjoyed most of it and have come to appreciate it a little more, especially after the well done TV series on Prime (I think?).

Also, if you are not a fan of a certain character from his Mr. Mercedes trilogy, Holly that is, YMMV. I liked her and those books.
 

Ejanss

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Finally got around to IT: Chapter 2. My issues with the ending weren't really with the appearance of IT, but when it's claiming

"I'm an eater of worlds!" it seems laughable when it's apparently been on Earth for millennia (or at least several centuries), but it has done nothing except feed on a few children in the same small town on a 27-year cycle. I don't know how it claims to be an "eater of worlds" when it has not even spread beyond the Derry area in all that time. I may have actually burst out laughing at that ridiculous statement that IT intended to be a brag or to instill some fear.
Warner disclaimer:
"We apologize to viewers of It: Chapter 2, who may have bought tickets under the impression that the story going to be a direct continuation of the 2017 movie and/or Stephen King novel. Apparently, at the last minute, without our prior knowledge, Mr. Muschietti instead felt moved to do a heartfelt social treatise pleading for understanding against gay bullying and persecution, and the movie's release under its original shooting title could not be changed before release. No refunds, however, will be offered."
 

Reggie W

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I didn't really care for the book of Revival. Maybe the movie will be better.

Haven't read a lot of King's recent output, as it seems like I keep being disappointed. I did just pick up The Outsider, so I'll give him another try at some point.
I read Revival while I was staying up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The story and the writing really grabbed me. I had not read anything from King in a very long time and it struck me that the writing here was...much more refined and he was not making goofy asides or adding humor nor writing funny potty mouth dialogue. I guess what Flanagan is saying about it being lean and mean. It's a dark tale that ends up going someplace I did not expect. The influences are Lovecraft (whom King has long loved) and Tesla. I found that fascinating because I am also drawn to both of those people. The story does build slowly, not seeming much of a horror yarn at all really at first. It seems to be about tragic lives and the fallout of that and how that shapes us. It had what I thought was some really great writing from King on the human condition. We totally understand the motivations of the characters and why they do what they do even when it turns bizarre.

When I reached the final third of the book I was surprised where it went. I was not expecting it. I like being surprised and to me the build, the attention to detail with the characters and their lives, and then a really wild payoff ending made it a very satisfying experience for me. It did not remind me at all of King's older writing which makes sense I guess but it also did not seem some quickly dashed out throwaway that he did not give much thought to.

What I like about it for a movie is it has some wonderful atmosphere and set pieces that I think would translate to the screen in a fantastic manner. I think if someone is going to capture this it would be Mike Flanagan. The things you can visualize for this will be pretty wild and very dynamic on a big screen. That's why I think it could be a horror classic as a film. When I read it I was sort of thinking of Viggo Mortensen in the lead not Russell Crowe. What I would basically expect here is that the first half of a film version would cover the first two thirds of the novel, then the second half of the picture would be dedicated to the final third of the book.
 
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Reggie W

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Here's a recent chat with Mr. King where he discusses what it is like to live through our real life horror of a pandemic, which character he created he would least like to be quarantined with, and his most recent novel If It Bleeds among other comments...

 
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