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Is Stephen King ever nervous about movies adapting his books? Mike Flanagan can tell you

Flanagan, who's adapted stories like Gerald's Game and Doctor Sleep, revealed the writer's brilliant philosophy in approaching movies inispired by his novels

Image credit: Les Films de la Plage, Warner Bros.

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As a huge Stephen King fan, Mike Flanagan gets nervous adapting his work. So you might wonder, does the nervousness work both ways? Does King get nervous about having his work adapted as much as his fans get in adapting them? Apparently, the answer is no, and there's a clever reason as to why.

At Seattle's Emerald City Comic Con 2024, Flanagan spoke with Popverse's own Ashley V. Robinson about his time adapting stories like Doctor Sleep and Gerald's Game. At one point, a question about King's involvement in those adaptations came up, and Flanagan revealed what keeps King so calm.

"[King] is very involved at the beginning," the director explained, "He approves everything; his approvals are critical. But once it's time to make the movie, it's very important to him that he backs up and says, 'The movie is yours, the book is mine.'"

He continued, "The way he said it to me, that I thought was the coolest, was: If the movie's great, people say, 'Of course, the book is great.' If the movie sucks, people say 'The book was better.' He wins."

Comforting as this reasoning may be for the author, it doesn't help people like Mike Flanagan. Later in the panel, Flanagan described working on an upcoming King adaptation, his long-awaited Dark Tower movies. "It makes me nauseous to contemplate these questions" says the horror director, "and they preoccupy me."

Well Mike, we're sorry you feel that way, but many fans do agree - when it comes to Stephen King adaptations, you come out a winner as well.

Watch on YouTube

Watch the rest of Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel's panel at ECCC '24 here.


Plunge the catacombs of the creepy with Popverse's Mike Flanagan watch order, and watch our hour-long conversation with Flanagan and actor/co-writer Kate Siegel.

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