10 Stephen King Movie Adaptations That Stephen King Hated

5. The Running Man

Trev Murphy Shining
TriStar Pictures

The Running Man was written by King under his pseudonym Richard Bachman, and he apparently wrote it in a week-long binge. It’s a grim story, with a desperate man agreeing to take part in a sadistic game show where he’s stalked across America by lethal hunters.

It was eventually adapted in 1987 as an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, where he’s a wrongfully accused convict forced to take part in a glossy game show against themed hunters. It’s profoundly camp and silly, but boy is it a lot of fun in the right mindset and a few beers.

It completely misses the point of the book, of course, and lacks the ruthlessly bleak ending. For this reason King isn’t a fan, and he complained in his memoir On Writing about how it turned the book’s protagonist into a pumped-up superhero, which is the exact opposite of Ben Richards in the book.


Handsome. Charismatic. Intelligent. Noble. Witty. I'm none of these things, but I'm a half decent writer, I guess.