One of Stephen King’s earliest novels is coming to the big screen.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Annabelle Comes Home director Gary Dauberman will soon be helming a big-screen adaptation of Salem’s Lot. The epic vampire tale was one of King’s earliest success stories, and was his follow-up novel to his breakthrough hit Carrie in 1975. Dauberman will not only direct the film, but he’s writing the screenplay as well. He also wrote the screenplay for both chapters of the blockbuster It. Horror maestro James Wan is one of the film’s producers.
Salem’s Lot is essentially a modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and centers on a on an author who returns to his hometown in Maine (King’s home state) to write about a creepy abandoned mansion that’s haunted him since childhood. Not long after arriving back home, he finds out that the mansion was bought by a mysterious and reclusive antiques dealer, who is a vampire master. After turning several of the locals into his vampire minions, the author and several other townsfolk join together to put an end to the undead infestation.
The novel was turned into a two-part mini-series in 1979, directed by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Tobe Hooper. It was big success, and re-aired on TV for years. It was later edited down into a shorter runtime and released on VHS, where it became a favorite rental choice among horror fans. The scene were a young boy sees his vampified friend float to his window in the middle of the night traumatized an entire generation, myself included.
The original mini-series made several changes to the book, most notably turning the talkative vampire master Kurt Barlow into more of a Nosferatu-style vampire, who doesn’t speak and is more animalistic and terrifying looking. Although this was very different from the novel, the mini-series Barlow was a horrifying and memorable creation.
A TNT mini-series that stuck closer to the book was produced in 2004, which featured Rutger Hauer as Barlow and Rob Lowe in the lead. This was another vampiric notch on the actor’s belt. Not only was he the physical inspiration for Anne Rice’s Lestat, but he played vamps in movies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Argento’s Dracula, and Dracula III: Legacy. It remains to be seen if this new version of Barlow will stick closer to the ’70s mini-series or the 2004 one, or go off in a completely new direction.
One thing is for sure, though. This is one King adaptation we can’t wait to sink our fangs into.
Featured Image: Warner Brothers