Stephen King

Future King

10 Stephen King Stories That Deserve Their Own Movie

Spend Father's Day with IFC's Stephen King Father of Horror Marathon.

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Photo Credit: Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

With 57 movies, TV shows and mini-series (and counting), Stephen King has never been shy about allowing his works to be adapted. Still, because the guy is such a prolific writer, there are dozens of untapped stories that could stand the big screen treatment. Before you catch IFC’s Father of Horror marathon, check out a few Stephen King tales that have the legs to go from the page to the silver screen — that is if Kathy Bates doesn’t beat them with a hammer first.

10. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Scribner

The best thing about this 1999 King book is its simplicity: A girl is separated from her family while hiking in the woods, and must survive with few provisions and little know how, all while fending off increasing hallucinations of an evil creature determined to kill her. With its relatable “girl vs. nature” story, and a few dark Stephen King flourishes, this could be a gripping tale about one woman’s fight to live at all costs.


9. The Monkey

Monkey Shines
Orion Pictures

“The Monkey” tells the story of a wind-up monkey toy that causes someone to die every time it claps it symbols together. A surprisingly understated story, considering it centers on a murderous stuffed marsupial, in the right hands it wouldn’t have to become the campfest its logline suggests. (Monkey Shines, anyone?) King himself adapted a version of this story for The X-Files episode “Chinga,” but we still feel like there’s plenty to mine here. One of the few stories left unadapted from Skeleton Crew, the Stephen King book of short stories that gave us The Mist, “The Monkey” is a tail, er, tale whose time has come.


8. Insomnia

Insomnia
Viking

Insomnia tells the story of a widower unable to sleep after his wife dies in a horrible accident. The longer he goes, the more strange visions he starts to see. From ribbons billowing out of people’s heads to little bald men in lab coats, his lack of sleep reveals another world to him. With the right director at the helm, this hallucinatory look at a man coping with grief could make for both a gripping meditation on loss, and a visual masterwork. Rob Schmidt, the director of Wrong Turn, tried and failed to get an adaptation going in 2007, so this one might have a steep hill to climb to make it to the big screen.


7. Gerald’s Game

Geralds Game
Viking

The story of a wife who’s left handcuffed to a bed after her husband dies during a sex game, this story would be a difficult adaptation. For one, the lead is naked for the entire movie. Then there’s the fact that she’s the only character for the majority of the book. Still, with its florid hallucinations, and tense escape scenes, this movie could be to S&M what 127 Hours was to rock climbing. Not one of King’s best novels, but with the right vision, it could be reworked into a taut thriller with a feminist twist. (An adaptation from the director of Oculus was announced in 2014, but things have been quiet of late.)


6. The Talisman

Talisman
Viking

Perfect for the blockbuster franchise treatment, this collaboration between King and horror icon Peter Straub was a stab at mixing the authors’ dark sensibilities with a more fantastical genre. The book tells the story of Jack Sawyer, a young boy who must travel across the country, and through parallel worlds, on a quest to save his mother from cancer. With wonderful fantasy iconography, all grounded by a boy’s personal journey to save his dying mother, this could be an epic story with real heart. Think Labyrinth, but with bloody murder instead of singing puppets. And thanks to the book’s sequel, Black House, which tells the story of a grown up Jack, there’s material here for multiple sequels.


5. N.

N
Marvel

A psychological horror story in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft, N. follows a group of disparate people who become obsessed with, and are driven insane by, a circle of stones in a random field which they believe are a portal to a monster in another world. A tense thriller mixed with some Lovecraftian cosmic horror of the unknown, this could be a fun, particularly dark movie about trying to maintain one’s sanity in the face of absolute terror.


4. The Regulators

Regulators
Dutton

The Regulators follows a young, autistic boy named Seth, who’s given the power to control his town by a demon. Thanks to his TV obsessions, this idyll suburban setting quickly transforms into a mishmash of cowboys and sci-fi silliness. With its dark, fantastical visuals, a big screen version of The Regulators has the chance to be a wonderland of pop culture references and unexpected scares.


3. Joyland

Joyland
Hard Case Crime

A more recent novel in the author’s canon, Joyland tells the story of a young man working at a carnival for the summer, where he must help a ghost solve her own murder. More a coming-of-age tale than an outright scare-fest, this novel has some weighty themes, mixed with enough horror pulp to make it a truly special film.


2. Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep
Scribner

Now this one is a no-brainer. A sequel to The Shining, this 2013 novel picks up in present day, following a grown-up Danny as he tries to protect a psychic girl from nefarious forces. While it would be intimidating to try to follow in the footsteps of auteur Stanley Kubrick, with the proliferation of remakes and sequels out there these days, it seems hard to imagine this won’t make it to the big screen at some point. Let’s just hope whoever helms it has their own vision, and doesn’t try to do Kubrick-lite. (Click here to see all airings of The Shining on IFC.)


1. The Long Walk

Long Walk
Signet Books

An early work written in 1979 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, The Long Walk is without a doubt one of the author’s most original, dark and haunting stories. Set in the near future, the story follows a group of boys who’ve entered a walking competition, with a twist. If they stop for any reason, they’re shot. The last boy standing gets whatever he wants for the rest of his life. An early example of the dystopian game show genre that would go on to influence everything from King’s own The Running Man to The Hunger Games, The Long Walk mixes a fascinating collection of characters with a stripped-down story about the will to live at any cost. Stephen King adaptation all-star Frank Darabont has owned the rights for years, but has yet to move on them. Let’s hope that changes.

Honor scary dads this Father’s Day with the Stephen King Father of Horror marathon.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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