With Andy Muschietti’s big screen adaptation of IT now officially standing as the highest grossing R-rated horror movie of all time (after only three weeks in the cinema), and the highly anticipated Gerald’s Game hitting Netflix on the 29th, it’s safe to say that Stephen King adaptations are in high demand. Though not technically a remake, IT is the second adaptation of King’s popular novel, which got us thinking… what films based on the author’s work need an update?
Our list today focuses on King films that could benefit from a modern remake, as well as which filmmakers would be perfect to take on each project. Let us know what you think of our choices and which adaptations you’d love to see remade!
5. Pet Sematary (Andy Muschietti)
This one is a no-brainer. With IT putting up blockbuster numbers at the box office and Muschietti already expressing interest in the project, we think it’d be wise to let him have it. While the original adaptation is effective enough, it’s somewhat dated and could be much scarier (save of the Zelda scenes, because goddamn those are terrifying). Muschietti claims to be a huge fan of Stephen King, and he’s proven himself worthy of taking on any project related to the author. *throws cash at the screen*
4. Cujo (Jennifer Kent)
Cujo is fine as is, serving as a middling Stephen King adaptation but not much else. In the hands of Jennifer Kent, however, a remake could be something special. Known for the frightening and psychologically effective horror film The Babadook, Kent is no stranger to exploring complex emotions, the bond between a mother and young son, and turning quiet monsters into terrifying beasts. Imagining the tension of Kent’s final act is enough to make us sweat.
3. Needful Things (Jody Hill)
Is Needful Things already a decent Stephen King adaptation? Yes. Is it a great film? Not really. At the heart of King’s story is a pitch black comedy about townspeople turning against each other and committing awful atrocities. Who better to tackle the dark, uncomfortable comedy aspect of the film than Jody Hill? Co-creator and director of the mean-spirited HBO series Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals, as well as films Observe and Report and The Foot Fist Way, the filmmaker is steeped in highlighting dark humor and moments of genuinely uncomfortable tension. Watching the town go to hell under his command would be joyous and difficult to watch in equal measure.
2. Dreamcatcher (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead)
Dreamcatcher is an “out there” story with an even more bizarre film adaptation. With a filmography that includes Resolution, Spring, and The Endless, Benson and Moorhead have proven themselves perfectly capable of turning something strange into something intimately personal and ultimately riveting- which is exactly the type of direction this source material would benefit from. Seriously, watch Resolution and listen to the banter between the two main characters. You’ll quickly realize how incredible this adaptation could be in their hands.
1. Firestarter (Jeff Nichols)
Jeff Nichols has proven himself time and again as a master of sustained suspense with films like Take Shelter and Midnight Special. Above that, however, the characters in his films feel true to life and each other. That notable intimacy would go a long way in a Firestarter remake as the father/daughter relationship between Andy and Charlie McGee would be at the forefront of the film and require an emotional connection. When coupled with the John Carpenter-like chase sequences and moments of tension of Midnight Special, that recipe could take a Firestarter remake above and beyond anything the first film was able to accomplish.