10 Stephen King Adaptations The Author HATES

Safe to say the Master of Horror wasn't a fan of The Shining...

The Shining
Warner Bros.

He's the master of horror and his books have inspired countless screen hits. From his 70s breakthrough with Carrie to the pair of recent IT movies breaking box office records, Stephen King has been a consistent source of page-to-screen success.

Himself a big movie fan, King has been vociferous in his praise for the filmmakers who have adapted his work and really nailed what he was going for. The likes of Rob Reiner (Stand By Me, Misery) and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Mist) are very much in the writer's good books.

But the author reserves a poison pen for those film directors who don't quite measure up to his exacting standards.

Sometimes these are movies that are widely agreed to be horrific in all the wrong ways, sometimes they are critical darlings that King just thinks missed his point. Either way, though, the man whose job it is to find creative ways to make people suffer isn't shy about pointing out when someone has failed to get his work right.

These are just the ten adaptations of his books of which Stephen King is the most vocal in his hatred.

10. The Running Man

The Shining
TriStar Pictures

In the late 70s and early 80s King enjoyed a prolific second career as pulp action writer Richard Bachman. Under the Bachman pseudonym, King knocked out this futuristic gameshow chase story in less than a week.

By the time of the 1987 movie adaptation, King had been "outed" as Bachman. But he still insisted that his own name be kept off the film and the fictional Bachman receive all of the credit.

Perhaps King didn't want to be associated with the finished product because, while the movie remains a dystopian cult favourite, it also has very little in common with its source material.

In The Importance Of Being Bachman, King's introduction to the collected edition of his "Bachman Books", the writer complained that his scrawny, sickly protagonist Ben Richards was "as far away from the Arnold Schwarzenegger character in the movie as you can get."

For his part, Arnie wasn't exactly thrilled with the completed movie either. The Austrian Oak had signed on for director Andrew Davis's vision of the film and was disappointed with the work of Paul Michael Glaser who stepped in after the Under Siege helmer was fired.

Glaser "shot the movie like it was a television show, losing all the deeper themes", Schwarzenegger wrote in his autobiography, Total Recall, proving himself King's surprising ally in not liking a film that most audiences think has aged pretty well.


Loves ghost stories, mysteries and giant ape movies