“I just write the f*cking things”: Stephen King Slams WB for Holding Back His Upcoming Adaptation of ‘Salem’s Lot’

The film was the third adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, which he has admitted was his favorite.

"I just write the f*cking things": Stephen King Slams WB for Holding Back His Upcoming Adaptation of ‘Salem's Lot'

SUMMARY

  • Stephen King’s popular 1975 horror novel ‘Salem’s Lot had been adapted into a film by Annabelle Comes Home’s Gary Dauberman.
  • The film was the third adaptation of the novel and was supposed to be released in cinemas and on Max in 2023.
  • However, the film was shelved by WB Studios, leading author Stephen King to slam the studio for the decision despite liking the film.
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Author Stephen King’s novels have been adapted multiple times, with acclaimed directors such as Stanley Kubrick taking a stab at his stories. The noted horror author is known for his thrilling stories such as the It franchise and The Shining that tap into humanity’s deepest fears.

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The author’s popular novel ‘Salem’s Lot’ was adapted for the third time in a film by Gary Dauberman but it has been sitting on the shelves of WB studios since it was done. The film was first supposed to be released in cinemas in 2022 but was then postponed to 2023. During the SAG-AFTRA strikes, the film was planned to be streamed directly on Max before being shelved. However, the author slammed the studio for not planning a release for the film despite it being good.

Stephen King Slammed WB For Not Releasing ‘Salem’s Lot

Stephen King | Credits: CBS News
Stephen King | Credits: CBS News

Author Stephen King’s novels have been adapted multiple times with varying degrees of faithfulness to the source material. The author famously said that he had a problem with the way director Stanley Kubrick handled the adaptation of his novel The Shining as many elements from the novel were changed for the film (via TCM’s A Night at the Movies).

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While the author has approved some of the more recent adaptations of his novels, such as the It franchise, Stephen King recently slammed Warner Bros. Studio for keeping the upcoming horror film ‘Salem’s Lot’ on the shelf. The film, which was supposed to be released in 2022, has yet to receive a release date, despite being finished.

Stephen King in a 1993 Interview
Stephen King in a 1993 Interview

King took to X (formerly Twitter) and said that he had watched the Gary Dauberman directorial and that he liked the film. He then went on to slam the studio for not giving a clear release date. He said,

“Between you and me, Twitter, I’ve seen the new SALEM’S LOT and it’s quite good. Old-school horror filmmaking: slow build, big payoff. Not sure why WB is holding it back; not like it’s embarrassing, or anything. Who knows. I just write the f*cking things.”

The shelving of ‘Salem’s Lot was the third instance of WB shelving a finished project after films such as Batgirl, Scoob! Holiday Haunt, and Coyote vs. Acme were also shelved. The former film was reportedly canceled while in post-production as the studio reportedly used it as a tax write-off (via Variety).

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Why Was ‘Salem’s Lot Not Released?

A still from the 1979 TV miniseries 'Salem's Lot
A still from the 1979 TV miniseries ‘Salem’s Lot’

Stephen King has often expressed his love for his 1975 novel ‘Salem’s Lot’. The novel follows a writer, who comes back to his hometown to write when he finds out that the town is haunted by a vampire. Stephen King admitted in an interview with The Highway Patrolman magazine (via Screen Rant), that the novel was his favorite of his books. He said,

“In a way it is my favorite story, mostly because of what it says about small towns. They are kind of a dying organism right now. The story seems sort of down home to me. I have a special cold spot in my heart for it!”

The novel had been adapted twice before, once by Tobe Hooper in 1979 as a two-part miniseries, and once by Mikael Solomon in 2004 as a TV miniseries. A third adaptation of the novel into a film was announced by WB in 2019, with It writer Gary Dauberman set to write and direct, and The Conjuring director James Wan set to produce.

However, the film was shelved after multiple delays by WB. According to Variety, the film was set to be released in cinemas and then was thought about for a straight-to-digital release on Max during the SAG-AFTRA strikes. However, the film remained unreleased, with Stephen King taking to X again to slam the decision by WB. He said,

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“The Warner Bros remake of SALEM’S LOT, currently shelved, is muscular and involving. It has the feel of “Old Hollywood,” when a film was given a chance to draw a breath before getting to business. When attention spans were longer, in other words.”

Despite Stephen King’s efforts to market the film as a good adaptation, the film seemed to have no takers as it sits on the shelves of WB studios.

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Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 846

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 400 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.