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Stephen King Blasts Studio as New ‘Salem’s Lot’ Film Skips Theaters

Stephen King Blasts Studio as New ‘Salem’s Lot’ Film Skips Theaters

Max announced that New Line’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot will premiere on the streaming service this year, skipping theaters.

Discussions dating back to last October about the possibility of the film bypassing theaters and opting for a release on Max instead. The announcement follows criticism from Stephen King directed at Warner Bros. Discovery for unnecessarily delaying the film’s release.

“Between you and me, Twitter, I’ve seen the new SALEM’S LOT and it’s quite good,” Stephen King recently wrote on X/Twitter. “Old-school horror filmmaking: slow build, big payoff. Not sure why WB is holding it back; not like it’s embarrassing, or anything. Who knows. I just write the f**king things.”

Salem’s Lot was originally set to premiere on September 9, 2022. However, due to the merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery Inc., the theatrical release of the film was rescheduled to April 2023. Unfortunately, the film missed that revised release date. The studio decided to remove it from the theatrical release schedule last year.

The New ‘Salem’s Lot’ Had Blockbuster Potential After the Success of Stephen King’s ‘IT’

Salem’s Lot was anticipated to be a significant addition to New Line’s lineup in the reinvigorated Stephen King cinematic universe. This is following the immense success of the It franchise, which grossed $1.1 billion globally.

Notably, Gary Dauberman, the co-writer of It, took on the roles of director, screenwriter, and executive producer for Salem’s Lot. Of course, Dauberman’s success in the Conjuring Universe likely influenced his role in writing and directing the Salem’s Lot remake. Wan is one of the film’s producers.

Salem’s Lot follows author Ben Mears returning to his childhood town of Jerusalem’s Lot, seeking inspiration for his next book. However, he uncovers that his hometown is under attack by a bloodthirsty vampire.

The cast features Lewis Pullman portraying Ben Mears, Alfre Woodard as Dr. Cody, Makenzie Leigh as Susan Norton, Bill Camp playing Matthew Burke, Spencer Treat Clark as Mike Ryerson, Pilou Asbæk as Straker, and John Benjamin Hickey in the role of Father Callahan.

Of course, the novel has enjoyed successful adaptations in the past. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre mastermind Tobe Hooper helmed the 1979 TV miniseries based on the book. It saw Starky & Hutch‘s David Soul in the lead. Meanwhile, it was made as a TV mini-series again in 2004 starring Rob Lowe. Considering the story’s live-action adaptations tend to be for TV, maybe it was destiny that this new version debuted on the small screen, too.