When a Stephen King adaptation is a success, not only does it result in more works from the author being brought to life, but the filmmakers responsible are often given opportunities to tackle more of his iconic tales. After Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption, he went on to make The Mist, while Mike Flanagan found success with Gerald's Game before going on to direct Doctor Sleep. Director Andy Muschietti and producer Barbara Muschietti created one of the author's biggest successes with 2017's IT and the upcoming IT CHAPTER TWO, with their next King project being an adaptation of the novel Roadwork, written under his pen name Richard Bachman.
"We hope to start shooting at the beginning of next year," Barbara shared with Radio Cantilo, while noting that Pablo Trapero aims to direct. "It's a Stephen King story, but it's not horror. It's a fantastic script.”
Stephen King's official website describes the story, "Barton Dawes’ unremarkable but comfortable existence suddenly takes a turn for the worst. Highway construction puts him out of work and simultaneously forces him out of his home. Dawes isn’t the sort of man who will take an insult of this magnitude lying down. His single-minded determination to fight the inevitable course of progress drives his wife and friends away while he tries to face down the uncaring bureaucracy that has destroyed his once comfortable life."
King's first three novels, Carrie, Salem's Lot, and The Shining, were all successes and were all relatively straightforward horror stories. With publishers and King himself not wanting to saturate the market, the author created the Bachman pseudonym to not only allow him to keep releasing material, but to alter the expectations of the reader, as King's name was so synonymous with horror.
Richard Bachman released Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running Man, and Thinner. After keeping up with the ruse for eight years, King's secret was exposed in 1985, at the time he was writing Misery, which was intended to be another Bachman book. With King's 1989 book The Dark Half, he used the inspiration of an author who felt conflicted between his own identity and his pen name as the subject of the novel.
The Running Man was loosely adapted into a film in 1987 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, while Thinner earned a feature-film adaptation in 1996. The Long Walk is set to get an adaptation by Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark director Andre Ovredal.
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