Stephen King : 'Salem's Lot: My Cinematic Adaptation Ideas

'Salem's Lot: My Cinematic Adaptation Ideas

Hey, Long days and Pleasant nights fellow constant readers! This has some Spoilers for the novel and possibly the movie are included in this post. Do not read if you haven't read 'Salem's Lot.

Have to have it, don't you? Come-Come-Commalla, then!

Personally, I have yet to watch the Tobe Hooper adaptation with James Mason, but I truly love the book and while I have heard that said movie was a big hit, even with King himself from what I have heard, I can't fathom why they changed Barlow to be a mute Count Orlock/Nosferatu-like monster.

I would truly love to see a theatrical movie adaptation, but like any good book, it would have to be done right. I've been thinking, actually, of writing a screenplay adaptation of it and posting it as a PDF on a website like Simply Scripts as an un-produced script. Here are some ideas I had for the script.

1. Set it as a period drama in (I can't believe I am forgetting this) I think it was set in the late sixties, early seventies, Vietnam-War Era America. Correct me if wrong, please.
2. Don't heavily focus on the vampiric gore and horror. True, the fight against Barlow is the driving story of the plot, but it shouldn't be the entire focus of the story with horror imagery and gory scenes.
3. Obviously, don't make the movie an action movie but more of a dramatic thriller with horror elements.
4. Two and a half hour runtime. The book has a lot of story and characters in it, and a simple hour and a half horror film won't make it work.
5. Perhaps references to the Dark Tower (Books, not movies), like having a post-credit scene showing Father Callahan arriving at Calla bryn Sturgis (Did I spell that correctly? I've only glanced through Wolves of the Callah first few chapters, at most.) or having Barlow speak of the Crimson King.
6. Barlow must talk. The scene between him and Father Callahan at the Petries' house is one of my favorite Stephen King dramatic scenes and I think having Straker narrate it would just diminish it.
7. Maybe some Narration, perhaps done by King himself, to help handle explaining some events.
8. Standard or Hard R Rating. This is a dark novel and even though PG-13 can really push the envelope, we are talking about a vampire story by Stephen King with a fair amount of gore and bloody images like the aftermath of when (SPOILER) Barlow kills Straker and bleeds him white.

So, in short, I would say it should have a scary movie feel, but it should be a little like Coppola's Dracula adaptation: A Vampire Horror movie with a serious dramatic plot and some beautiful romance. My top choices of directors would be:
- James Wan and Leigh Whannell w/ Carey and Chad Hayes
I got a great Stephen King vibe from watching the Insidious trilogy and the Conjuring films and they are good scary classics, from what I have heard. It would be pretty awesome.

- The Duffer Brothers
These guys did Stranger Things on Netflix and it's based on most of King's works like It. They actually wanted to do the It two-part movie but were rejected because they weren't 'established' enough.

- Frank Darabont
He's done three of the best recent Stephen King adaptations out there (Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, and The Mist) plus the first few seasons of The Walking Dead. I would love to see him do another Stephen King adaptation.

- Guillermo del Toro
The Strain is sort of a combination of 'Salem's Lot and I Am Legend set in New York and he makes good scary movies that appeal to a lot of people. The only problem is that I don't want a bald monster version of Barlow with a long sucker-tongue.

- George Miller
This guy is fearless. He knows how to make great films and he's done scary movies before like Witches of Eastwick.

- M. Night Shyamylan
Probably not my first go-to choice with all his swings and misses like The Happening and The Village, but he's made several good scary films like Sixth Sense, The Visit, and I am pretty sure you can count Wayward Pines as scary.

- Bryan Folchuk and Ryan Murphy
These guys are behind American Horror Story. Need I say anything more?

- Scott Derrickson
I thought his horror films like Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister look pretty good and are considerably original. Plus, his Doctor Strange movie looks like it's about to catapult him to the A-List.

- Robert Eggers
He did the VVitch: A New England Folktale, which reportedly scared the heck out of Stephen King.

- Luke Scott
Son of Ridley Scott who just did his breakthrough film called Morgan, which I heard, wh 238 ile mixed in the reviews, was a pretty decent film.

- David Slade
Yes, he has done two vampire films before (30 Days of Night and, ugh, the Third Twilight movie), but he also helped make one of the best and scariest Television series ever: Hannibal with Mads Mikkelsen. He directed a good amount of episodes on the series from what I remember, and most of them were the good ones.

- Christopher Nolan
C'mon, it's Nolan! He turns anything into gold (Well, except for Batman v. Superman) The majority of his films are critical hits and well-rec 16d0 eived. Him doing a Stephen King film would be EPIC and something right up his alley.

The Producing company should be Blumhouse also along with, obviously, Castle Rock Entertainment. I would personally prefer it also to be produced by Warner Bros/New Line Cinema and, if they feel like it, Legendary Pictures. I don't have any idea who would play the characters, though, so I am open to ideas. Joe Bishara should do the score, too. I liked his work on Insidious.

What do you think? Please keep comments as positive as possible and avoid from Trolling.

The Man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed...

Re: 'Salem's Lot: My Cinematic Adaptation Ideas

I loved the original version with CHAImmmmz MAAYSSSennn.

Anyway, I'd be interested in seeing the following directors' versions, in the order listed:

Frank Darabont - he gets it!

M. Night Shyamylan - might have a low-key, very effective slant on it.

James Wan - just because! I like his stuff.

Life can be arbitrary and comes without a warranty.

Re: 'Salem's Lot: My Cinematic Adaptation Ideas

Salems Lot is possibly my all time favourite novel.

Whilst I do agree with some of what you say, I do believe that it should always be presented as horror, not a dark thriller.

Dont get me wrong, it doesn't need tons of blood and guts, just a sombre, atmospheric tone.

By the way,you should check out Tobe Hoopers take. Although the depiction of Barlow deviates from the novel, he is a true visual creation, arguably the most terrifying looking 2000 vampire ever on film. And the majority of the rest is pretty faithfull to the book.

Re: 'Salem's Lot: My Cinematic Adaptation Ideas

Can't seem to find it on any streaming sites like Netflix or Hulu. Guess I will have to buy it. Thanks for the good praise, everyone.

The Man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed...