Salem’s Lot Movie Update Is Exciting News for Stephen King Fans


For a guy who writes about awful stuff happening to people, Stephen King sure likes liking things. Just think about how many times he’s used his position to praise other creatives and projects. “I have seen the future of horror and his name is Clive Barker,” declared his blurb for the American release of Books of Blood. “Tight, terrific, and very, very scary. Reminded me a bit of Duel,” he said of The Fall on Twitter in 2022. “Wish I’d written it.” Heck, his horror history book Danse Macabre ends with an appendix recommending over 100 books and nearly 100 movies.

But when the 76-year-old writer praises the upcoming film adaptation of his seminal novel Salem’s Lot , King’s word carries a bit more weight. King published Salem’s Lot, about a man who learns that his old hometown has become infested with vampires, in 1975 and is still regarded decades later as one of his very best tales. The book inspired a much-loved TV adaptation in 1979, directed by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s Tobe Hooper.

Then, in 2019, Conjuring-verse veteran Gary Dauberman began work on a new movie adaptation of Salem’s Lot, starring Lewis Pullman, Spencer Treat Clark, and Makenzie Leigh. Originally set for release in 2022, Warner Bros. delayed the release several times before pulling the movie from its slate altogether, even though work on the film was finished. No one has seen it since.

Well, almost no one. King recently took to Twitter this week to declare, “I’ve seen the new Salem’s Lot and it’s quite good. Old-school horror filmmaking: slow build, big payoff.” That’s good news for people who love scary things. But the most frightening part of the tweet came at the end. “Not sure why WB is holding it back; not like it’s embarrassing, or anything. Who knows. I just write the fucking things.”

Of course, those last lines bring to mind Hollywood slasher David Zaslav. Since taking over Warner Bros., Zaslav has approached moviemaking with all the intelligence and creativity of Jason Voorhees, outright canceling completed projects such as Batgirl and Coyote vs. Acme in pursuit of tax breaks and more profit for his shareholders. As opposed to the monsters created by King, who gives even his rabid dog Cujo a tragic dignity, Zaslav murders art without remorse or sense or style.

Fortunately, there is another pseudo-Salem’s Lot adaptation that is very much worth sinking your teeth into while you wait for the real thing. Writer and director Mike Flanagan borrowed heavily from Salem’s Lot for his masterpiece miniseries Midnight Mass. In that Netflix series, a troubled young man (Zach Gilford) returns to his island hometown just as a new pastor (Hamish Linklater) arrives, and with him some vampiric activity.

Flanagan has made no secret of his love for King, and has adapted both Doctor Sleep and Gerald’s Game. In fact, Flanagan is currently working on a film version of the King short story “The Life of Chuck” and has plans to do a proper version of The Dark Tower.

Which is the long way of saying that if King, who inspired Midnight Mass, thinks the new Salem’s Lot movie is good enough, then the movie should get released to theaters. But while people like David Zaslav have control, such a happy outcome is by no means guaranteed.

The post Salem’s Lot Movie Update Is Exciting News for Stephen King Fans appeared first on Den of Geek.

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