No author has seen his work made into more movies than Stephen King, but was every movie a success?
Stephen King’s latest movie It has topped $500 Million at the Worldwide Box Office and has officially become the top-grossing horror film of all time. With over 50 Stephen King novels having been adapted into films and collectively raking in over $2 Billion, King is big money in Hollywood.
King rose to fame after debut novel Carrie, written when he was just a 26-year-old teacher and laundry worker, was published for the first time in 1974, changing the horror landscape away from his predecessors; moving away from shadowy alleys and half-seen horrors and towards buckets of blood and intensely graphic imagery. Since then, more of King’s books have been adapted into films than any other living author.
Whilst notoriously battling alcoholism, King claims that he couldn’t remember writing many novels from the ‘80s, including The Tommyknockers and Cujo, and has stated that Jack Torrance from The Shining was his most autobiographical character, as he originally saw Jack ‘as a heroic character battling his demons the way strong American men are supposed to do.’
Despite his personal tribulations, King’s adaptations have had tremendous success, with classics such as the time-honored The Shining, Stand By Me and not to mention the Academy Award Nominated The Green Mile making up some of Stephen King’s greatest accolades. He has been famed as writing novels and stories at a breakneck speed, publishing several books a year for much of the 1980s and ‘90s. Now, King continues to create and be involved in provocative projects, working directly in television, and surprising audiences with a sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep in 2013.
Despite King providing Hollywood with tremendous amounts of content, not all of the adaptions have had quite the same levels of success. The time old Hollywood problem of a movie gaining high audience ratings but not necessarily translating into box office achievement remains true for King. Everyone loves The Shawshank Redemption, right? The movie, often listed within the greatest films of all time, has critic audience ratings which push an incredible 90%, but raked in just over $50 million at the box office, showing that popularity doesn’t always pay.
King sold the film rights for Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption for $5,000, but he never cashed the cheque. Years after Shawshank came out, the author got the cheque framed and mailed it back to director Frank Darabont with a note inscribed ‘In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve.’’ Showing that maybe, King isn’t in it for the money anyway.
This article was written by Lee Coates on behalf of Moneypod, a financial broker and part of the Ping Yo Group, which was built by a team of industry experts with over 10 years experience, specializing in working with people who find it difficult to obtain finance; People with poor credit histories, no credit history or those who have declared bankruptcy through difficult life circumstances.