Stephen King’s #1 Fans

Stephen King Caricature

There probably has been no other author in history that has had such a success in Hollywood as Stephen King.  To date, over 30 movies plus countless sequels have been based on his novels or short stories (including The Lawnmower Man, which only stole the name of his story), plus King wrote Sleepwalkers directly for the screen.  He even directed one movie (the less said about that the better).  Sixteen TV movies and mini-series have been made from his work as well as five TV series; not to mention that he wrote episodes for The X-Files, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Monsters, and Tales from the Darkside.  His movies have been nominated for 15 Oscars, winning one for Kathy Bates in Misery.  His TV shows and mini-series have been nominated for 30 Emmys, winning eight of them.  There were even five Razzies (two, if you can believe it, for The Shining).  His work has created some of the best horror movies ever made, including The Shawshank Redemption topping the IMDB voter’s list, and have generated some of the worst direct-to-video sequels.  King loves film so much that he even licenses out certain short stories that he wrote to first time filmmakers for a dollar, which account for the seemingly endless number of short films made from his published stories.

Stephen King Book Collection - partial

Directors as varied as Stanley Kubrick, Brian DePalma, Tobe Hooper, David Cronenberg, Lawrence Kasdan, Taylor Hackford, George Romero, and Bryan Singer have made films based on King’s books while Ron Howard, Ben Affleck and Jonathan Demme are attached for upcoming motion pictures.  King’s features have attracted actors as diverse as Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Max Von Sydow, River Phoenix, Julie Harris, Christopher Walken, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George C. Scott, James Caan, Lauren Bacall, Ian McKellen, and Samuel L. Jackson.  However, there are some actors and directors who seem to be stalking the author, repeatedly showing up in or behind the scenes of his films.  These are his #1 fans:


Stephen King must really like Mick Garris.  After Garris directed King’s original screenplay for Sleepwalkers in 1992, King allowed him to tackle his two biggest babies:  his opus The Stand (which turned into a 4-part mini-series) and the 3-part TV remake of The Shining.  Garris adapted one of King’s short stories into the TV movie Quicksilver Highway and later directed Desperation and Riding the Bullet.  His next King Collaboration is Bag of Bones, due to be released on A&E in December.

Craig R. Baxley gets some of that King love as well, having directed two original mini-series written by King, Storm of the Century and Rose Red.  Baxley also did the prequel to Rose Red, The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer as well as several episodes of Kingdom Hospital, a TV series that King adapted from Lars Von Triers’s The Kingdom.

More famously, Frank Darabont has made a successful career by adapting King.  Three of his four feature films were based on King books: The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist.  To say he owes his career to Stephen King is not hyperbole, since he got his start by adapting King’s short story “The Woman in the Room” as a short film that garnered praise and brought attention to him as a writer and director.

Before the Academy bestowed its good fortunes on Darabont and his films, Rob Reiner did two King adaptations that got the little gold man’s attention: Stand By Me and Misery.  Reiner was so pleased working in the King-verse that he even named his production company Castle Rock after the fictional town in which the author’s stories often take place.

Two other directors who did two King films apiece are Lewis Teague (Cujo and Cat’s Eye) and Tom Holland (The Langoliers for TV and Thinner).

Special notice should be given to William Goldman, who wrote the screenplays for three King adaptations: Misery, Hearts in Atlantis, and Dreamcatcher.


The Annie Wilkes Award goes to Matt Frewer, who had roles in five Stephen King movies: The Stand (TV); Desperation (TV); Riding the Bullet; Quicksilver Highway (TV); Bag of Bones (TV).  This doesn’t even count starring in The Lawnmower Man 2, a sequel to a movie King disowned.  Cynthia Garris technically ties for this honor, appearing in The Shining (TV); The Stand (TV); Sleepwalkers; Riding the Bullet; Quicksilver Highway (TV), but this is cheating somewhat since she is married to Mick Garris, who directed each of those films, and she largely appeared in bit parts (though she’s credited as “Nurse Annie Wilkes” in Quicksilver Highway, so she gets extra points for that).

The George Stark Award goes to Jeffrey DeMunn and Steven Webber, who appeared in four King projects each.  DeMunn is somewhat of a good luck charm for Frank Darabont, having acted in every feature film Darabont directed (as well as the TV series The Walking Dead).  In addition to The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist, DeMunn was in the Storm of the Century–with which Darabont had no connection.  Webber took over the Nicholson role in the mini-series The Shining and starred in Desperation.  He also appeared in a segment from Nightmares & Dreamscapes and the episode of The Outer Limits that King wrote.

The Overlook Hotel Award goes to those hardy men and women who acted in King-inspired movies or TV shows three times:

  • Kathy Bates – Misery; Dolores Claiborne; The Stand (TV)
  • Bruce Davison – Tales from the Darkside (TV); Apt Pupil; Kingdom Hospital
  • Ed Harris – Creepshow; Needful Things; The Stand (TV)
  • John Landis – Sleepwalkers; Quicksilver Highway (TV); The Stand (TV)
  • Robert Mammone – ‘Salem’s Lot (TV-remake); Nightmares & Dreamscapes (TV, 2 episodes)
  • David Morse – The Green Mile; The Langoliers (TV); Hearts in Atlantis
  • William Sadler – The Shawshank Redemption; The Green Mile; The Mist
  • Tom Skerritt – The Dead Zone; The Dead Zone (TV); Desperation
  • Frances Sternhagen – Misery; Golden Years (TV); The Mist

The Blaine the Mono Riddle Award goes to those who visited King’s world twice:

  • Brooke Adams – The Dead Zone; Sometimes They Come Back
  • Drew Barrymore – Firestarter; Cat’s Eye
  • Andre Brauer – ‘Salem’s Lot (TV-remake); The Mist
  • Pierce Brosnan – The Lawnmower Man; Bag of Bones (TV)
  • Clive Barker – Sleepwalkers; Quicksilver Highway (TV)
  • Bonnie Bedelia – Salem’s Lot; Needful Things
  • Nicholas Campbell – The Dead Zone; Haven (TV)
  • Len Cariou – Secret Window; 1408
  • Patricia Clarkson – The Green Mile; Carrie (TV-remake)
  • James Cromwell – The Green Mile; ‘Salem’s Lot (TV-remake)
  • John Cusack – Stand By Me; 1408
  • Don S. Davis – Needful Things; The Dead Zone (TV)
  • Nicole de Boer – The Dead Zone (TV); Haven (TV)
  • Charles S. Dutton – Cat’s Eye; Secret Window
  • Miguel Ferrer – The Stand (TV); The Night Flier
  • Morgan Freeman – The Shawshank Redemption; Dreamcatcher
  • Annabeth Gish – Desperation (TV); Bag of Bones (TV)
  • Bob Gunton – The Shawshank Redemption; Dolores Claiborne
  • Doug Hutchinson – The Lawnmower Man; The Green Mile
  • Timothy Hutton – The Dark Half; Secret Window
  • Thomas Jane – The Mist; Dreamcatcher
  • David Keith – Carrie (TV-remake); Firestarter
  • Ed Lauter – Cujo; The Golden Years (TV)
  • Adam LeFevre – Storm of the Century (TV); Hearts in Atlantis
  • Geoffrey Lewis – Salem’s Lot; The Lawnmower Man
  • Rob Lowe – The Stand (TV); ‘Salem’s Lot (TV-remake)
  • E.G. Marshall – Creepshow; The Tommyknockers (TV)
  • Samantha Mathis – ‘Salem’s Lot (TV-remake); Nightmares & Dreamscapes (TV)
  • Ray McKinnon – The Stand (TV); Needful Things
  • Kenneth McMillan – Salem’s Lot; Cat’s Eye
  • Ron Perlman – Sleepwalkers; Desperation (TV)
  • Jason Priestly – Haven (TV); Bag of Bones (TV)
  • Mark Rolston – The Shawshank Redemption; The Dead Zone (TV)
  • Martin Sheen –  The Dead Zone; Firestarter
  • Casey Siemaszko – Stand By Me; Storm of the Century (TV)
  • Gary Sinise – The Stand (TV); The Green Mile
  • Harry Dean Stanton – Christine; The Green Mile
  • Henry Thomas – Desperation (TV); Nightmares & Dreamscapes (TV)
  • Richard Thomas – It (TV); Nightmares & Dreamscapes (TV)
  • J.T. Walsh – Misery; Needful Things

The Beep Beep Richie Honorable Mention goes to the following for acting in a King movie and then doing a sequel to a film based on a King novel or story:

  • Nancy Allen – Carrie; Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return
  • Dan Byrd – ‘Salem’s Lot (TV-remake); Firestarter 2: Rekindled
  • Amy Irving – Carrie; The Rage: Carrie 2

Academy Awards

  • Carrie – 2 nominnations (Lead Actress, Supporting Actress)
  • Stand By Me – 1 nominations (Adapted Screenplay)
  • Misery – 1 win (Actress)
  • The Shawshank Redemption – 7 nominations (Picture, Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Original Score, Sound)
  • The Green Mile – 4 nominations (Picture, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Sound)

Emmy Awards

  • Salem’s Lot  (1979) – 3 Nominations (Graphic Design & Titles, Makeup, Music)
  • It – 1 Win (Music for Mini-series); 1 nomination (Editing for Mini-series)
  • The Tommyknockers – 1 nomination (Sound Editing for Mini-series)
  • The Stand – 2 wins (Makeup for Mini-series, Sound Mixing for Mini-series); 4 nominations (Mini-series, Art Direction for Mini-Series, Cinematography for Mini-series, Music for Mini-series)
  • The Langoliers – 1 nomination (Sound Mixing for Mini-series)
  • The Shining – 2 wins (Makeup for Mini-series, Sound Editing for Mini-series); 1 nomination (Mini-series)
  • Quicksilver Highway – 1 nomination (Music for Mini-series)
  • Storm of the Century – 1 win (Sound Editing for Mini-series); 1 nomination (Visual Effects for Mini-series)
  • Rose Red – 1 nomination (Art Direction for Mini-series)
  • Kingdom Hospital – 2 nominations (Main Title Design, Visual Effects)
  • ‘Salem’s Lot (2004) – 1 nomination (Music for Mini-series)
  • Desperation – 2 nominations (Art Direction for Mini-series, Sound Editing for Mini-series)
  • Nightmares & Dreamscapes – 2 wins (Music for Mini-series, Visual Effects for Mini-series); 3 nominations (Lead Actor in Mini-series, Makeup for Mini-series, Visual Effects for Mini-series)

Razzie Awards

  • The Shining – 2 nominations (Worst Director, Worst Actress)
  • Maximum Overdrive – 2 nominations (Worst Director, Worst Actor)
  • Pet Semetary – 1 nomination (Worst Original Song)

copyright © 2011 FilmVerse

10 comments on “Stephen King’s #1 Fans

  1. Forgot to mention that I completely AGREE with the razzies on The Shining…my review on the movie is really harsh

  2. […] enjoy them  one by one without feeling any rush. Updated on May 2012: See this amazing post called Stephen King #1 Fans by Jamie Helton @ Film Verse. He did an amazing list of all things related to SK’s […]

  3. Wow!! This is an awesome list!!
    I never really paid attention like this toward King’s movies. What an observation.

    I am going to link this to my post…I hope you don’t mind Jamie 🙂

  4. Wow, what an in-depth post on all things Stephen King! Kudos, Jamie.

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