Stephen King adaptions have a highly mixed record when it comes to bringing them to the screen. Graveyard Shift and Sleepwalkers balance out any good work done by IT: Chapter One and the least said about The Dark Tower, the better. The 1970s television adaption of Salem’s Lot is often held up as a highpoint.

Salems Lot

I own it on DVD and revisit it every so often. It remains effectively terrifying, especially during the slow, creeping dread of the first half and with the genuinely unsettling window sequences.

However, the things it leaves out do hurt the adaption when compared to the novel. Meanwhile the use of a blue, snarling monster for main antagonist, Barlow, removes a lot of the power from the pivotal test of faith scene, again compared to the novel.

However Salem’s Lot, as a book, remains to me far and away King’s single best work. So I am always looking forward to a new adaption of it to see how it compares.  Warner Bros. Pictures has had New Line beavering away on a new adaption for some time. It was set for a release very soon, on September 9th to be precise. It has now been pushed back. Way back. Back to April 21st 2023. This may be why we have seen very little marketing for the movie.

Salems-Lot

The Gary Dauberman-directed movie has been impacted by COVID-related issues in post production, with positive tests still requiring isolation so impacting availability. Additional photography was only completed last week.

The release schedule is spookily quiet now. After a huge raft of delayed movies in the first half of the year, the second half goes really flat after Bullet Train on August 5th and the superhero factories starting up again in October. Finally a chance to clear that streaming backlog then!

The movie stars Lewis Pullman as Ben Mears, Makenzie Leigh as Susan Norton, Bill Camp as Matthew Burke, Spencer Treat Clark as Mike Ryerson, Pilou Asbæk as Straker, John Benjamin Hickey as Father Callaghan, Alfre Woodard as Dr Cody, and William Sadler.

As Sadler is the only cast member who’s character remains unannounced, it is a pretty safe bet he will be playing Kurt Barlow. Thinking of a mash-up between the Grim Reaper from Bill and Ted, with Colonel Stewart from Die Hard 2, makes me think this could work.

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