Lord of the Rings proved Hollywood can deliver an epic story in several parts with loyal fans coming back every year.
So it doesn’t come as much of surprise that there are plans in the works to do the same with several Stephen King novels. As you may recall, there were once plans to shoot a three part installment of The Dark Tower - but that initiative fell apart at the 11th hour at Universal. And of course there was also talk of adapting The Stand as a several part epic with Ben Affleck (of all people), and David Yates of Harry Potter fame attached to direct.
While multi-part epics have worked well with the fantasy of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, it has yet to be tried at the movies theaters with horror. In 1979, the TV adaptation of Salem’s Lot pioneered the horror mini-series, and a number of King adaptations followed from there.
The Stand was also going to be a theatrical feature back in the 80’s with George Romero (Night of the Living Dead) directing, but they couldn’t get it down to a reasonable length.
Meanwhile, King’s novel It got the mini-series treatment, and now the news hits it’s going to be redone as a two part feature at Warner Brothers.
As Variety tells us, Cary Fukunaga, who did Jane Eyre, will direct and co-write the script with Chase Palmer, who also wrote an adaptation of Dune, another big, unwieldly novel that according to Deadline was set up at Paramount, but fell apart after the studio spent four years trying to make it.
Again, fantasy and sci-fi can be adapted into longer installments, but horror still has yet to go the epic distance. Perhaps it’s tough to sustain fear that long, so if It gets off the ground, it will be interesting to see how it turns out as a two parter, and how audiences will react.