Stephen King's 1979 novel The Dead Zone tells the story of a businessman named Greg Stillson who, despite being a man of questionable morals and deep emotional problems, makes a run for the presidency after having won the interest and support of the common man. Unfortunately, Stillson is on course to, as President, cause a massive worldwide nuclear conflict -- something that a man named John Smith realizes due to psychic powers he develops in an accident and attempts to prevent this horrible future. It's a frightening premise, but according to King, it's not a frightening as the current political landscape, specifically Donald Trump's presidency.
King was asked by NowThis if he thinks the Trump presidency is scarier than one of his own novels and the answer, short version, is yes.
"Short answer to that is yes, I do. I do think it's scarier," King said.
In the video -- which you can check out below -- NowThis breaks down The Dead Zone's Stillson and compares quite a few moments from the novel (as well as the 1983 horror thriller film of the same name based on the novel) to Trump's campaign revealing more than a few unsettling similarities, leading NowThis to declare that King "predicted" Trump's presidency 40 years ago.
"I was sort of convinced that it was possible that a politician would arise who was so outside of the mainstream and so willing to say anything that he would capture the imaginations of the American people," King said. "They take him as a joke at first because he has these rallies and he throws hot dogs to the crowd and says 'when Greg Stillson's elected, you're gonna say hot dog! We've got a real mover and shaker at last!' Crazy stuff that no one would possibly believe or so we thought, until Donald Trump came along."
It's no secret that King is an outspoken critic of Trump. It only takes a quick glance at his Twitter account to see where King stands on various political issues and that he is certainly not a fan of Trump, but when NowThis asked him if he used psychic powers -- a recurring theme in many of his novels -- to predict Trump's rise, King didn't think he necessarily predicted things.
"I don't think I necessarily predicted Donald Trump when I wrote The Dead Zone. I know that American voters have always had a real attraction to outsiders with the same kind of right-wing America-first policy," he said. "And if that reminds people of Trump, I can't be sorry because it was a character that I wrote. It was a boogeyman of mine and I never wanted to see him actually on the American political scene, but we do seem to have a Greg Stillson as President of the United States."0comments
As for his assertion that Trump's presidency is scarier than anything he's written, fans of his work will be able to make their own comparisons especially with two movies based on his work coming out. IT CHAPTER TWO is set to open in theaters September 6 and Doctor Sleep will follow on November 8th, both films King has said will blow viewers minds.
"This movie is going to blow your mind," King wrote of Doctor Sleep last month. "If you have any left after IT CHAPTER 2, that is."