Stephen King In The Spotlight - The Man, The Myth, The Legend, & Now The Funko Pop Figure! - A Feature By Dave Christy
Over the years, there have been many attempts to make King's stories into movies and miniseries. Tommyknockers, Golden Years, Sleepwalkers, Misery, Langoliers, and countless others. Some have been made more than once. For instance, The Stand was made in 1994 and now they are redoing that for CBS All Access in December. Today, we will be focusing on 2 other stories that have been told twice. "It", and "The Shining".
First, we will discuss The Shining. It was a 1977 novel, made into a movie in 1980 by Stanley Kubrick. The stories surrounding this film are legendary. King was displeased with a lot of the changes from the book to film. Nonetheless, the movie remains a classic that is referenced in tons of pop culture shows and movies. Even if it’s not mentioned by name, the references to Room 237 in "Ready Player One" is instantly recognizable.
In 1997, King had a chance to rectify the problems he had with the 1980 version when ABC offered him a miniseries deal to rewrite himself. Steven Weber took over the Jack Nicholson role of Jack Torrance. King was able to reinsert parts of the original ending that Kubrick had changed. Even though this is the ending King wanted, some still prefer the Kubrick version. Everyone will have their preferences.
Next up, we have the 1986 novel, "It". Everyone knows the story of Pennywise or at least as much as he will let us learn about him. Although, the 1100+ page book has a lot of info, they couldn’t possibly fit all that into the movies no matter how many versions they made.
The 1990 miniseries had featured some top talent of the day-- Harry Anderson, John Ritter, and the wonderful Tim Curry as Pennywise. Since it was made for tv, it had to take on a different tone completely. The horror, language, and violence was turned down some to be a little more palatable. The 2-part movie was done really well. Well, maybe. The ending always seems to be a problem in many of King's films, a point they actually referenced in "It - Chapter 2" "I didn’t like the ending", a shop owner said to Bill Denborough asking about his book.
In 2017 and 2019, they tried to improve and make it more like the original. By making them theatrical films, they were able to up the horror, language and gore content and turned it up to 11. The 2 versions were done quite differently.
The 1990 miniseries, essentially kept them split. The first half had them primarily as kids and the second half as adults. While It - Chapter 1 kept them as kids, Chapter 2 still had a significant amount of flashbacks into their childhood and untold moments from the first film. One thing remains is that this entry also kept the same level of star power getting some big names like James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and Bill Skarsgard taking over the role of Pennywise this time around. One complaint from a lot of people about this movie is that it was too long. I didn’t mind it though.
But for a movie that has a gag which includes not liking the ending of a something, they still didn’t seem to know what to do with this one. It’s the problem with a powerful being; you need a way to kill it or get rid of it, and that needs something really good. Unless you come up with something spectacular, it will fall flat and leave you sitting there going "Huh? Is that it?"
But never fear! You can buy yourself a Steven King Funko and pretend he will write the ending you want - Like Misery! (Sledgehammer not included)
Any Links To Buy On Amazon in this page may be Amazon Affiliate Links
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases which in turns helps support all the Muser giveaways we do)
Dave Christy loves horror, music, documentaries and more. He is also the co-runner of several fan based groups including Morningstars (THE Lucifer fan group also run by Melanie), and now also writes guest articles for Melanie's Muses. Other than "In The Spotlight" Features - watch for the upcoming "31 Days Of Halloween Movies"