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Did Lisey’s Story Miniseries Do Stephen King’s Story Justice?

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Ultimately, the adaptation proved unsatisfying for many critics and viewers. Joshua Meyer, writing for /Film in 2021 following the “Lisey’s Story” finale, suggested that King may not be the right person to adapt his own work. This is far from the first time that King has been involved in adapting his own work over the years, but it often hasn’t gone super well; his only directorial effort is the deranged “Maximum Overdrive,” and don’t forget about the utterly bizarre “Sleepwalkers,” which involves incestuous werecats.

On the flip side, when other creatives have taken the wheel, it’s often gone very well. From the aforementioned “It,” which remains the highest-grossing horror movie of all time, to “The Shawshank Redemption,” there are numerous examples of these adaptations pairing very well with the original texts. A controversial example is Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” a movie that King himself famously hates. Be that as it may, the film remains a cinematic classic.

We have a “Lisey’s Story” TV show, but there is an argument to be made that a movie would still be warranted — one adapted by someone other than King. To that end, in the same Rolling Stone interview, the author shared his thoughts on the adaptations of his work, and shed light on why these interpretations may be better off in other hands:

“The movies have never been a big deal to me. The movies are the movies. They just make them. If they’re good, that’s terrific. If they’re not, they’re not. But I see them as a lesser medium than fiction, than literature, and a more ephemeral medium.”

While it’s probably not worth going over the exhaustive list of people who could turn the book that King loves so dearly into a movie, there are undoubtedly writers and directors out there who could do something compelling with this material. So maybe King’s favorite book deserves another shot in another medium, just adapted with a very different methodology.



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