10 Unrealized Book-to-Film Adaptations We’d Like to Have Seen

The Stand, directed by George A. Romero

Novelist Stephen King and horror filmmaker George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead) had one memorable collaboration: the 1982 horror anthology Creepshow. Even at the time, however, King made it clear that it was merely a warm-up project: “Our idea here is simply to do something original that we can do on a low budget, get it out there and hopefully make a profit,” he said at the time. “It will show people that we’re for real. Then we can go ahead and make a deal with one of the majors for the production money for The Stand.” Yes, King and Romero planned to make an epic film adaptation of his greatest novel. The author struggled to wrestle the story into screenplay form for several years before finally turning the job over to Rospo Pallenberg, the screenwriter responsible for Excalibur. He managed to pack the story into a screenplay that would run about three hours. King approved the script, Romero was ready to direct… and then Warner Brothers backed out, leaving the project to limbo. It was finally adapted into a network television miniseries in the 1990s, hugely compromised, with its most disturbing elements watered down for television — a mediocre representation of the author’s finest work that satisfied no one. (More on the project here.)