2017 has been the year of Stephen King. With several of his stories becoming films, co-authoring two novels, and two stories becoming television series, it may have been difficult keeping up to date with everything King has accomplished. As we approach the end of 2017 we take time to look back on the year that King has had, and look forward to see what 2018 has in store for his fans.
Gwendy’s Button Box
King didn’t start releasing anything this past year until May with the release of Gwendy’s Button Box, a short novella he co-authored with Richard Chizmar. Gwendy’s Button Box took us back to Castle Rock and shows us the story of Gwendy who is given a box one fateful day by a man in a dark suit. Thanks to the box, Gwendy experiences many wonderful things in her life until she decides to push the one button in the box that she shouldn’t have. The box is a fast read at 175 pages and for fans it’s a true joy to return back to Castle Rock, a town us King fans know all too well.
The Mist (TV Adaption)
Perhaps the weakest spot of 2017 for King was the abysmal mess that was the television series The Mist, based off of King’s novella found in Skeleton Crew and then released as a Darabont film in 2007. Unfortunately the television show simply could not hold up. With extremely low ratings and mixed reviews Spike cancelled the show after only one season.
The Dark Tower (film)
The Dark Tower film was perhaps one of the toughest moments in 2017 for King die hard fans. The creators of the film took The Dark Tower from the book series that includes 8 full novels, some very large, and turned it into an hour and a half film. To make matters worse, the film was only loosely based on its source material. The film grossed $111 million worldwide but only conjured up a measly 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
After two King letdowns, Mr. Mercedes blasted out of the gates as one of the most faithful adaptations to King’s works. It was a fun, exciting series that unfortunately had limited viewership as the series was broadcast on DirecTV’s Applause Network. The series follows retired detective Bill Hodges and mass murderer Brady Hartsfield. Brady Hartsfield, aka Mr. Mercedes, drove a Mercedes through a job fair line in 2009 killing 16 innocent lives. Now, years later, Brady turns his focus on Bill Hodges, the now retired detective that was in charge of the case, to torment him and play games that have deadly consequences.
This was the biggest month for King this year. In one month alone King released a novel he co-authored with his son, two Netflix original movies, and the much anticipated remake film IT.
It (September 8)
IT was a groundbreaking film that became the largest selling horror film in history. It’s tough to get accurate numbers at this point, but the last financial statistic showed that IT had made a fitting $666 million dollars. The original film starred Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown, and in 2017 the role was portrayed by Skarsgard. Although it was a different take on the story, a more sadistic clown and taking place in the eighties instead of the fifties, the roots of the main concept for the story was still there. This was definitely the high point of the year as King took the crown of penning the best selling horror movie in history.
1922 (September 23)
A straight to Netflix film 1922 was a dark and sadistic film about a father and son that murder their wife/mother because she decides to sell the land they own and move. The tale gets darker and more twisted from there as the father and son do everything within their power to cover up their hideous atrocity. With a solid 88% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and a stellar cast led by Thomas Jane, this film based on King’s novella in Full Dark, No Stars was an awesome addition to King’s 2017 releases.
Gerald’s Game September 29
Stephen King’s BDSM tale Gerald’s Game was given the small screen adaptation on September 29th. What on paper didn’t seem like a tale that would be adaptable at all, became one of the most remarkable King films in recent years. Based on a 1992 book, this film had incredible acting, a fast paced script, and stayed close to the source material. The movie was met with a 90% approval rating by Rotten Tomatoes. Carla Gugino shined as a remarkable character that totally descends into madness after her husband dies after a bondage experience goes wrong and leaves her handcuffed to a bed in the middle of nowhere.
Sleeping Beauties (September 26)
Rounding up 2017 is the first book co-authored by Stephen and his son Owen, and is a remarkable social commentary on women’s rights. The tale centers on a world where women begin falling asleep and not waking up, but instead they are being covered in cocoons. If the cocooned women are disturbed in this state they become spectacularly violent. The book is long at 702 pages, but one that is worthy of the King name.
2017 was a remarkable year for Stephen King, a man that has been in the game now for 43 years and appears not to be slowing down anytime soon. Looking toward 2018 and beyond there are several projects that King is involved in that will further cement the master of horror as the King of media. Mr. Mercedes season 2 will make its way to the small screen, King’s written work will have a new novel added to it by the name of The Outsider (possibly an addition to the Mr. Mercedes series), and part 2 of the blockbuster film IT will be coming in 2019. It is an amazing time to be a Stephen King fan!