Steven Spielberg and Stephen King Almost Collaborated on 'Poltergeist'

Through dozens of wildly successful stories, Stephen King has proven himself as one of the all-time greatest masters of horror. Similarly, Steven Spielberg has proven himself as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, sometimes even dabbling in thrilling subject matter. Sadly, recent interviews have confirmed that we never got to see a collaboration between the two as Spielberg had difficulties getting in touch with King to help him write the script to Poltergeist.

“It didn’t work out because it was before the internet and we had a communication breakdown,” King shared with Entertainment Weekly. "I was on a ship going across the Atlantic to En­gland.”

Spielberg confirmed this anecdote, admitting, "I wanted him to help me out with the script and sort of write it with me, but he was unavailable.”

This doesn't mean a collaboration is out of the question, as Spielberg revealed that he bought the rights to King's The Talisman before the book had ever been released.

“I feel that in the very near future, that’s going to be our richest collaboration. Universal bought the book for me, so it wasn’t optioned. It was an outright sale of the book,” Spielberg noted. “I’ve owned the book since ’82, and I’m hoping to get this movie made in the next couple of years. I’m not committing to the project as a director, I’m just saying that it’s something that I’ve wanted to see come to theaters for the last 35 years.”

There was another missed opportunity regarding a King story being adapted by Spielberg, with the filmmaker having difficulty bringing The Skeleton Key to life as a miniseries.

“At that time it was just too rich for TNT’s blood,” Spielberg admitted. “Then I pulled it back and decided to try to reconfigure it once again as a feature film.”

While it was far from an official collaboration, Spielberg found a way to honor King with his film Ready Player One, which featured references to both The Shining and Christine.

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[H/T Entertainment Weekly]