Share 17 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Stephen King Books

17 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Stephen King Books

Sarah Jane Abbott is an assistant editor for Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books, imprints of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.  She grew up having NANCY DREW books read to her by her father, and is now an avid reader of mystery, thriller, and horror, along with everything from literary fiction to poetry to personal essays.  She graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in English and a concentration in creative writing.  Sarah Jane is an advocate of quasi-destructive book love—her best-loved volumes are highlighted, scribbled in, dog-eared, and wavy from being dropped in the bath tub.  

Guinness Superlatives, the group that awards the Guinness World Records, has named Stephen King the living author with the greatest number of motion picture adaptions of his work. This comes as no surprise, as it seems that nearly everything Stephen King writes is adapted into some sort of film. Many of these adaptions have become iconic horror movies, while some are lesser known. They are based on King’s novels, short stories, novellas, and even on original screenplays.

In honor of some exciting new adaptions on the horizon, we decided to run down our favorite Stephen King writings that have been adapted for the small and big screen.  Go ahead, read the source material for a film you love—you’ll be glad you did!


Hearts in Atlantis
by Stephen King

The gentle, nostalgic 2001 film, “Hearts in Atlantis,” is based on the melancholic short story “Low Men in Yellow Coats.” In the summer of 1960, 11-year-old Bobby befriends the mysterious older man, Ted Brautigan, who moves into the upstairs apartment. Little does Bobby know that Ted is being pursued by sinister “low” men in yellow coats.

Hearts in Atlantis
Stephen King

The gentle, nostalgic 2001 film, “Hearts in Atlantis,” is based on the melancholic short story “Low Men in Yellow Coats.” In the summer of 1960, 11-year-old Bobby befriends the mysterious older man, Ted Brautigan, who moves into the upstairs apartment. Little does Bobby know that Ted is being pursued by sinister “low” men in yellow coats.

MENTIONED IN:

17 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Stephen King Books

By Sarah Jane Abbott | October 16, 2014

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Bag of Bones
by Stephen King

The 2011 two-episode miniseries “Bag of Bones” is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Mike Noonan is a bestselling author who is unable to write in the wake of the sudden death of his wife. Plagued by nightmares, he returns to his Maine lake house where he starts receiving messages from his wife from beyond the grave.

Bag of Bones
Stephen King

The 2011 two-episode miniseries “Bag of Bones” is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Mike Noonan is a bestselling author who is unable to write in the wake of the sudden death of his wife. Plagued by nightmares, he returns to his Maine lake house where he starts receiving messages from his wife from beyond the grave.

MENTIONED IN:

17 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Stephen King Books

By Sarah Jane Abbott | October 16, 2014

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Different Seasons
by Stephen King
The beloved 1994 film, “The Shawshank Redemption,” is based on the novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.” The novella is the most satisfying tale of unjust imprisonment and offbeat escape since THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. The film, which starred Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, was nominated for 7 Oscars.
Different Seasons
Stephen King

“You’ll find the themes of hope and innocence weaved throughout the four novellas that comprise Stephen King’s DIFFERENT SEASONS, warped and broken as they may seem. The ways in which they’re tested, sustained, mangled, or transformed are often uncomfortable but always captivating.”

Read the full review by Amar Deol here.

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Carrie
by Stephen King
Stephen King’s legendary debut novel follows Carrie White, a bullied high school girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers and famously uses them to enact horrific revenge against her tormenters at the prom. It was adapted into a film in 2013, but I vastly prefer the 1976 version starring Sissy Spacek as Carrie. This original adaption is considered a landmark film in the horror genre.
Carrie
Stephen King

Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but in the face of unbearable humiliation, her gift of telepathy is turned into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget. The terror of Stephen King's legendary debut novel makes for a timeless thriller.

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Misery
by Stephen King

When novelist Paul Sheldon is in a terrible car crash on a wintry night, he is rescued by nurse Annie Wilkes, who just happens to be his biggest fan. But when his latest novel isn't to Wilkes's liking, Sheldon becomes prisoner to her violent temper. The novel is gripping and nightmarish and the 1990 film features Kathy Bates at her creepy, demented best.

Misery
Stephen King

When novelist Paul Sheldon is in a terrible car crash on a wintry night, he is rescued by nurse Annie Wilkes, who just happens to be his biggest fan. But when his latest novel isn't to Wilkes's liking, Sheldon becomes prisoner to her violent temper. The novel is gripping and nightmarish and the 1990 film features Kathy Bates at her creepy, demented best.

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Dolores Claiborne
by Stephen King

King's novel DOLORES CLAIBORNE was adapted into the 1995 film starring (again) Kathy Bates. When housekeeper Dolores Claiborne is questioned in the mysterious, sudden death of her wealthy employer, a long-hidden dark secret from her past is revealed- as is the strength of her own will to survive...

Dolores Claiborne
Stephen King

King's novel DOLORES CLAIBORNE was adapted into the 1995 film starring (again) Kathy Bates. When housekeeper Dolores Claiborne is questioned in the mysterious, sudden death of her wealthy employer, a long-hidden dark secret from her past is revealed- as is the strength of her own will to survive...

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Night Shift
by Stephen King

“Children of the Corn,” a short story from the collection NIGHT SHIFT, has spawned an ongoing horror franchise with sequel after sequel. The story follows a couple who accidentally hit a boy while driving through an abandoned town in Nebraska. They soon discover that all inhabitants over the age of 19 have fallen victim to an all-child, pagan cult that worships a demonic entity who inhabits the cornfields that surround the town. Now they must fight for their lives or become victims of this vicious cult themselves.

Night Shift
Stephen King

“Children of the Corn,” a short story from the collection NIGHT SHIFT, has spawned an ongoing horror franchise with sequel after sequel. The story follows a couple who accidentally hit a boy while driving through an abandoned town in Nebraska. They soon discover that all inhabitants over the age of 19 have fallen victim to an all-child, pagan cult that worships a demonic entity who inhabits the cornfields that surround the town. Now they must fight for their lives or become victims of this vicious cult themselves.

MENTIONED IN:

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The Shining
by Stephen King
The 1980 Stanley Kubrick film “The Shining” is undoubtedly the most famous adaptions of Stephen King's work. Who could forget Jack Nicholson poking his head through the wrecked bathroom door shouting "Here's Johnny!"? Iconic. The novel tells the story of the Torrence family and their move to the isolated Overlook Hotel after the father, Jack, gets a job as an off-season caretaker. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location becomes completely cut off from civilization and Jack begins to unravel.
The Shining
Stephen King

“THE SHINING tells the story of the Torrence family and their move to the isolated Overlook Hotel after the father, Jack, gets a job as an off-season caretaker. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location becomes completely cut off from civilization and Jack begins to unravel."

Discover more Stephen King film adaptations here.

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Four Past Midnight
by Stephen King

Stephen King's collection FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT contains the novella “Secret Window, Secret Garden;” the basis for the 2004 film “Secret Window,” starring Johnny Depp and Maria Bello. “Secret Window, Secret Garden” is the story of novelist Mort Rainey, who is confronted by a violently angry stranger who claiming that Rainey plagiarized his story—and he’s come to right this wrong by any means necessary.

Four Past Midnight
Stephen King

Stephen King's collection FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT contains the novella “Secret Window, Secret Garden;” the basis for the 2004 film “Secret Window,” starring Johnny Depp and Maria Bello. “Secret Window, Secret Garden” is the story of novelist Mort Rainey, who is confronted by a violently angry stranger who claiming that Rainey plagiarized his story—and he’s come to right this wrong by any means necessary.

MENTIONED IN:

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Under the Dome
by Stephen King

King's novel UNDER THE DOME was the basis of the 2013 television series. On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Tensions inside the dome rise as resources dwindle and power struggles arise. Can the residents of Chester's Mill band together to survive, or are they doomed to destroy one another?

Under the Dome
Stephen King

King's novel UNDER THE DOME was the basis of the 2013 television series. On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Tensions inside the dome rise as resources dwindle and power struggles arise. Can the residents of Chester's Mill band together to survive, or are they doomed to destroy one another?

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The Green Mile
by Stephen King
Stephen King's serialized novel, THE GREEN MILE, was an unprecedented publishing triumph: all six volumes ended up on the New York Times bestseller list—simultaneously—while the 1999 film adaption earned 4 Oscar nominations. At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, convicted killers await their turn to walk the Green Mile. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover a truth about Coffey that will challenge his most cherished beliefs...and yours.
The Green Mile
Stephen King

“This haunting story of a Depression-era death row where good and evil mix and miracles happen seems to be an ever-present fixture in my life, requiring regular rereading, as it continues to stand as one of my favorite books.”

Read the full review here.

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Storm of the Century
by Stephen King

The 1999 TV miniseries “Storm of the Century” is based on an original screenplay written by Stephen King. The residents of Little Tall Island have seen their share of nasty Maine Nor’easters, but this one is different. When a mysterious stranger appears on the island and brutally murdered bodies start to pile up, what the stranger demands is unthinkable... Read along as you watch—it's great fun!

Storm of the Century
Stephen King

The 1999 TV miniseries “Storm of the Century” is based on an original screenplay written by Stephen King. The residents of Little Tall Island have seen their share of nasty Maine Nor’easters, but this one is different. When a mysterious stranger appears on the island and brutally murdered bodies start to pile up, what the stranger demands is unthinkable... Read along as you watch—it's great fun!

MENTIONED IN:

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Full Dark, No Stars
by Stephen King
This collection of four novellas includes “Big Driver,” which was made into a 2014 Lifetime TV movie starring Maria Bello as Tess, a woman who seeks revenge after being brutally assaulted and left for dead. It also includes “A Good Marriage,” in which Darcy Anderson realizes that her husband of 27 years may actually be an infamous, at-large serial killer. The novella was adapted into a film in 2014 with a screenplay by King himself and Joan Allen starring as Darcy.
Full Dark, No Stars
Stephen King

“What I love about FULL DARK, NO STARS and what never ceases to blow me away about Stephen King’s work is that while these stories are chilling, macabre, and suspenseful, they transcend all of the expectations that come with the genre and have truly perceptive and keenly observed insights into the human psyche.”

Read the full review here.

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The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
by Stephen King
The Dark Tower is Stephen King’s epic 8-volume science-fantasy Western series following Roland Deschain, a.k.a The Gunslinger, on his quest to save his decaying home, Mid-World, by reaching the fabled Dark Tower, despite the efforts of The Man in Black to prevent him from completing his quest. The hotly anticipated 2017 film adaption has King as a producer and stars Idris Elba as The Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black.
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
Stephen King

For almost a decade, Stephen King fans have been yearning to see this epic series on the big screen, and they’ll finally get their wish with this adaptation, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It tells the story of the fallen land of Mid-World, through the eyes of a knight whose primary mission is to save his decaying world by reaching the titular tower that stands at the intersection of time and space. This mix of horror, western, and sci-fi will be a must-see. RELEASE DATE: February 17, 2017

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It
by Stephen King
Stephen King’s engrossing 1986 novel about the nature of fear and evil follows “The Losers’ Club,” a group of seven friends who are terrorized by and attempt to destroy a murderous, shape-shifting entity they refer to as “It,” whose primary form is the horrifying Pennywise the Dancing Clown. IT is being adapted into a 2017 film starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise; this adaption follows the 1990 TV miniseries in which Tim Curry embodied the iconic clown.
It
Stephen King

For fans of “Stranger Things”

Teeming with the best kind of ‘80s nostalgia, the perfect follow-up read to this summer’s Netflix hit “Stranger Things” is Stephen King’s classic thriller IT. Seven adults are forced to revisit the horrors they once experienced when they were teens, battling an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. With the town’s terrible history repeating, they must once again face the evil monster.

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