Starring in a Stephen King adaptation could serve as a breakout opportunity for a performer, especially when King himself gets directly involved with bringing the story to life, but in the case of 1986's Maximum Overdrive, star Emilio Estevez regrets having starred in the picture. At the time of the film's release, few names were bigger in the world of horror than King's, with a number of adaptations debuting over the course of a decade, though many would argue that the film proved why King should stick with writing tales of terror instead of stepping behind the camera to sit in the director's chair.
When Vanity Fair asked Estevez during a recent interview if he regrets any roles, he confirmed, "Oh, God, yeah. I’m not speaking out of class because he knows it’s a terrible movie, but Stephen King often talks about his one directorial experience on Maximum Overdrive, which I was in. The few times that I’ve connected with him over the years, he’s like, 'Can you forgive me for that?'”
The film was based on King's short story "Trucks," which sees a group of diners at a truck stop realizing that the surrounding trucks have come to life, destroying cars and killing bystanders. The film follows a similar premise, but rather than specifically exploring a world with sentient trucks, Maximum Overdrive sees all machines coming to life, ranging from lawnmowers to vending machines to, of course, tractor-trailers. Details about how the trucks are coming to life are kept vague, though it is somehow connected to the Earth passing through the tail of a comet for three days.
Estevez recalled how his mom claimed that, if he were so desperate to collaborate with King, it's possible that manual labor might have been a more viable avenue.
"I think at one point my mom said, 'Why’d you do that movie?' I said, 'I wanted to work with Stephen King.' And she said, 'Couldn’t you have helped him paint his house?'” Estevez joked.
Despite the film largely being dismissed by fans and critics alike, King's son, author Joe Hill, admitted just last October that, were he to make the jump into filmmaking, it would be a new take on Maximum Overdrive. However, given the surge of A.I. and self-driving cars, he could see a much more justifiable explanation for these vehicles coming to life.
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