Stephen King is a master storyteller with a seemingly unending amount of stories to tell. It has been 40 years since he first published "Carrie" and so many of his books have been adapted for movies, mini-series and television shows with varying success.
The quality of television writing has developed to such impressive scales over the past few years, there is finally potential to adapt Stephen King's impressive and artful epics well. No easy feat, but in anticipation of the Under the Dome season 2 premiere, I've put together a list of five of his novels that would be a perfect fit for television writers and viewers today.
1. "The Tommyknockers" (1987)
This adaptation would be most similar to CBS' Under the Dome in its science-fiction focus on a small town and central cast of characters. It begins with a reclusive writer in Maine (shocker for a Stephen King book), who discovers a spaceship buried deep beneath the earth save a small piece that she begins digging out. The more the spaceship is unearthed, the more the town is affected by the radiation it emits, causing the townspeople to develop hyper-intelligence and telepathy.
Like all good stories, it eventually takes a dark turn and it is up to the few who are resistant to the radiation to save the day. A new anti-hero could be born out of one of the main characters. It is dark, funny and just oozes potential for a multi-season series. After writing this, I really want it to become a show.
2. "The Eyes of The Dragon" (1987)
Following the trend that HBO's Game of Thrones has set, this novel could be easily adapted to a fascinating medieval series. Much lighter than Game of Thrones in some ways since the central characters are teenagers, this story follows a wrongfully accused and imprisoned king who, at the age of 15, must plot his escape from an impossibly tall tower. This story has it all, love, justice, vengeance and pure rotten evil, with plenty of twists along the way.
Again, I would love to see this as a series now.
3. "It" (1986)
What "It" has working against it is the woefully wrong television-movie adaptation of the same name from 1990. People, "It" is about so much more than a scary clown. (Admittedly masterfully played by Tim Curry).
"It" follows a cast of seven characters who meet as children and are brought together again as adults to battle It, the thing that preys on individuals fears. The characters are comprised of lovable losers who you so much want to prevail over the evil. While there is constant side-evil to battle, it all leads up to one epic showdown that could really translate well to the small screen.
With its simultaneous storylines and flashbacks from the characters to when they were children, this story is rich for a multi-season series.
4. "Insomnia" (1994)
While there are few (if any) shows with an elderly person as the main character, "Insomnia" could be such a cool show. It follows a widower who develops insomnia to the point that he begins to see other people's auras. These auras look like balloons attached to people and he can tell when someone is going to die, see impending doom and evil tracks.
There is a lot of sweetness to the story when he meets a widow with the same abilities, but there is also a lot of action when it comes to the main climax of the story when he is forced to use his ability to stop a major attack.
This could be a really cool show based on the surreal elements of the visuals, the auras and the tracks. It could have a similar visual element to Pushing Daisies.
5. "Four Past Midnight" (1990)
"Four Past Midnight" is a collection of four novellas. Each novella has a different main character with a different story and could easily be translated to individual seasons in a mini-series, a la American Horror Story.
While there have been attempts to adapt a few of these novellas in the past, The Langoliers was adapted for a mini-series in 1995 and Secret Window, Secret Garden was adapted as a major motion picture starring Johnny Depp under the title Secret Window in 2004, a full-blown mini-series that followed each novella independently using the same cast would be so cool. Especially because those adaptations are outdated for a modern audience.
Under the Dome season 2 premieres on June 30 at 10pm on CBS.
Do you have any favorite King novels that you would like to see adapted to television? Let us know in the comments!
(Image courtesy of CBS)