What Hollywood owes authors when their books become films: Q&A

Never before published interview on Deadline.com:

……..from the time when an influx of book adaptations done with input from authors raised questions of just how much influence Hollywood owes book writers. While studios once paid big checks to authors and invited them to go away, The Twilight Saga‘s Stephenie Meyer, The Hunger Games‘ Suzanne Collins, Harry Potter‘s JK. Rowling, The Fault In Our Stars‘ John Green and Fifty Shades Of Grey‘s EL James all have been given input that authors used to only dream of.

DEADLINE: So you’re not an author who feels that what’s in your book is sacrosanct, even when it’s translated to the screen?
KING: No. And the other thing is, you start from the belief that these people know their business. There are a lot of writers who are very, very sensitive to the idea, or they have somehow gotten the idea that movie people are full of sh*t. That’s not the truth. I’ve worked with an awful lot of movie people over the years that I think are very, very smart, very persistent and find ways to get things done. And I like that.

DEADLINE: Some of the best films made from your work, like Shawshank and Stand by Me, came from unexpected places, short stories that connected with good filmmakers. Is there one there that you’re surprised no one has turned into a movie?
KING: Jeez. You kind of caught me off guard. I’ve written a lot of stuff. I guess if there’s one that I regret is, um, I wrote a book back in the Nineties called The Regulators. It was one of two books that I thought of as repertory company books. There was one called Desperation, and the other one was called The Regulators and they both had the same characters but they were all doing different things, in different places. I had a meeting with Sam Peckinpah a few months before he died, and he was really interested in turning that into a movie called The Shotgunners, and I wanted to write a screenplay for it. I thought it would make a terrific R-rated action-adventure, the kind of thing Sam was terrific at. It just didn’t happen and never went any further than that.

DEADLINE: Do you have a personal favorite adaptation of one of your books?
KING: Oh yeah. I like, well 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.

DEADLINE: What about your least favorite?
KING: Should I even say that? 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 Cornsequels. 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.

Read the entire interview here….

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