Stephen King May Have Just Saved One of His Own Adaptations

Streaming is going through a Lot.


In the streaming era, studios have stretched the concept of “development hell” to its limit. Movies can now be trapped between pre-production and production, production and post-production, and even production and release. The stakes have only grown in recent years; Warner Bros. choosing to bury finished projects like Batgirl and Coyote vs. Acme for tax purposes means no film is ever safe from the axe until it’s actually being watched by fans.

A forgotten Stephen King movie looked like it would be the latest victim of dubious Hollywood accounting, but now a tweet from the man himself may have saved it from doom.

Rob Lowe starred in Salem’s Lot (2004), while Lewis Pullman will play his role in the remake.


‘Salem’s Lot, Stephen King’s 1977 vampire novel, was adapted for TV in 1979 and again in 2004. In 2019, New Line Cinema announced a movie adaptation written and directed by Gary Dauberman, who helped write both It and It: Chapter Two.

The movie was filmed in 2021, but post-production delays pushed its initial theatrical release date of September 9, 2022 back to April 21, 2023. Later, it was pulled from New Line’s release schedule altogether, leading to speculation that New Line’s owner, Warner Bros., had canceled the movie.

A hype-up tweet from Stephen King may have brought Salem’s Lot off the shelf.

picture alliance/picture alliance/Getty Images

But on February 19, Stephen King took to Twitter to discuss the stagnant project. “Between you and me, Twitter, I’ve seen the new SALEM’S LOT and it’s quite good,” he said. “Old-school horror filmmaking: slow build, big payoff. Not sure why WB is holding it back; not like it’s embarrassing, or anything.”

Not even a month later, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the project is still alive, although it will premiere directly on Max instead of receiving a theatrical release. It’s unclear if this is because of King’s comment or if the timing was a coincidence, but it certainly demonstrated interest in the movie — and the confidence of an author who doesn’t always love what Hollywood does with his work.

That moving from a theatrical to a streaming release is something to celebrate is a sad commentary on the streaming era, but any sort of release is better than being deleted for the sake of cooking the books. So remember, if you’re ever curious or upset about something, complain on social media. It gets results, at least if you’re a world-famous author.

Salem’s Lot premieres on Max in 2024.

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