Skip to main content

Stephen King: How to watch all of the author's movie & TV show adaptations

Want to dive into the world of Stephen King? This guide will help you watch his films and television projects.

It Chapter Two
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Popverse is taking a brief pause beginning Thursday, July 11, as we not only prepare for SDCC 2024, but also put the finishing touches behind the scenes on a new website platform to continue delivering news, interviews, guides, and more about comics, tv, movies and conventions, the best way we know how. Learn more here.

Popverse's top stories of the day

Killer clowns, haunted hotels, and murderous trucks. When you begin a Stephen King story, there is no telling what horrors await you. King is one of the most prominent contemporary authors, with a reputation for writing chilling horror tales, thrilling page-turners, and heartbreaking dramas. His bibliography is so impactful that many of his novels have been adapted into films and television projects. Wouldn’t it be fun to watch all of King’s adaptations in order? Keep in mind there are about 70 and counting. Don’t worry, Popverse has you covered. Just follow this handy guide, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about watching Stephen King’s films and television projects in order.

How to watch Stephen King’s movies in release order

Carrie screencap
Image credit: United Artists

If you want to watch all of Stephen King’s films in order, here’s how to do it. Please note, this list covers theatrical films, television movies, and television mini-series based on King’s work. It also covers original screenplays King has written, or developed stories for. Television shows will be covered in another section of this guide. In addition, this watch order does not include film sequels, unless the sequel is based on a Stephen King novel. As such, projects like Pet Sematary Two and The Rage: Carrie 2 are not included (but feel free to watch them anyway).

Upcoming films

The following films are currently in development. Some of them are new versions of previously adapted projects. As it goes with Hollywood, some of these will be made, while others might get cancelled.

  • Salem’s Lot
  • Billy Summers
  • Christine
  • Elevation
  • Fairy Tale
  • From a Buick 8
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
  • The Life of Chuck
  • The Little Green God of Agony
  • The Running Man
  • Throttle
  • The Long Walk

Has Stephen King acted in any movies?

It Chapter Two Stephen King cameo
Image credit: Warner Brothers

Stephen King is more than an author. The legendary writer has also dabbled in acting. While he hasn’t appeared in as many films as Tom Hanks or Leonardo DiCaprio, King has enjoyed a few cameo appearances over the years. While some of the productions are adapted from his novels, King has also lent his talents to other projects. See if you can spot Stephen King in the following films and television shows.

How many movies did Stephen King write?

Misery screencap
Image credit: Columbia Pictures

This is a difficult question to answer, because it really depends on your criteria. Do we count every film based on a Stephen King story, or only films he personally scripted? Some of his novels, like Carrie, have been adapted twice. Should that count as two separate films? What about television projects?

In order to come up with this answer, I’ve decided to go with any film or television mini-series that is based off of a Stephen King story. In other words, the first section of the guide. If a novel was adapted twice, then it counts as two separate films, because in the end it resulted in two unique releases.

Going by that criteria, Stephen King has written at least 70 films as of January 2024. Multiple King projects are released each year, so expect that number to grow.

What is Stephen King’s favorite movie based on one of his stories?

Stand by Me screencap
Image credit: Columbia Pictures

Stephen King has had mixed opinions on the way Hollywood has adapted some of his novels. Some projects have impressed him, while others have left him cold. For example, he has regularly criticized Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (see next section), despite the film’s critical and commercial success. With that in mind, which film adaptation is King’s favorite?

According to a Deadline interview, King named The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me as his two favorites. He praised Frank Darabont’s directing on The Shawshank Redemption and said that Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me captured the spirit King had been going for.

What is Stephen King’s scariest movie?

The Shining screencap
Image credit: Warner Brothers

Which Stephen King film is the scariest? The question is subjective, so it’s impossible to give any scientific answer. However, it is worth noting that The Shining has taken the number one spot on various ‘scariest movie’ polls. Based on King’s 1977 novel, The Shining is about a family who becomes caretakers for a haunted hotel. The Stanley Kubrick directed film has many memorable scenes, including an iconic moment where blood pours from an open elevator. Jack Nicholson’s chilling performance went a long way in cementing the film’s reputation as a classic.

Despite its success, King was not a fan of Kubrick’s film. King felt that Kubrick had misunderstood the character of Jack Torrance, losing a pivotal character arc. King has also stated that Kubrick changed some of the novel’s central themes. In the book, King wanted to focus on ghosts haunting good people, whereas the movie portrayed Jack Torrance as a twisted man who descended further into darkness.

Has Stephen King done any television work?

Chapelwaite promo image
Image credit: Sony Pictures Television

Stephen King has also written and developed a number of television projects. In some cases King has come on to write for a single episode, and in other cases he’s helped develop a series from the ground up. Some of the shows also serve as ongoing adaptations of King’s novels. Here’s a breakdown of Stephen King’s television work.

Where can I watch Stephen King’s films?

If you are subscribed to any streaming service, chances are it has at least one of Stephen King’s films. As of this writing, Netflix is the streaming home for Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, In the Tall Grass, 1922, Gerald’s Game, and Stand by Me. Max is currently the streaming home for Carrie (1976), Carrie (2013), Cujo, and Pet Sematary. The Shining is currently available to stream for free on Sling. The original It mini-series is available to stream on Tubi. It’s important to remember that some of these films may wind up on different services once their streaming licenses expire. If you want to purchase digital copes, the films are available to rent or buy from a variety of video-on-demand platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play Video, and Vudu.

Want to know what's coming up next in pop culture? Check out our guides to upcoming movies, upcoming TV shows, upcoming comics, and upcoming comic conventions. If you're looking for specific franchises or genres, we have all the upcoming MCU, upcoming Star Wars, upcoming Star Trek, and upcoming DC movies & TV for you. If you're a fan of superheroes and not specific to just Marvel or DC, we have overall guides to all the upcoming superhero movies and upcoming superhero TV shows (and new seasons) as well.

Follow Popverse for upcoming event coverage and news

Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar
Joshua Lapin-Bertone: Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.
Related topics
Featured events