5 Movies You Didn't Know Were Based on Stephen King Novels
Like it or not, you can't throw a rock in the cinematic universe without hitting a Stephen King book adaptation. Many of the best horror movies of all time originated in the brain of King, from Stanley Kubrick's mindf*ck The Shining, to Misery, a horror movie so exceptional that it earned Kathy Bates an Oscar. And, of course, the recent adaptations of It, which we're still having nightmares about.
But we can't just stop there. Did you know King has also written quite a few books outside the horror realm, and some have been adapted into wildly and critically-acclaimed films? We're leaving the scary movies behind to give you a different kind of surprise twist.
The Green Mile (1999)
The Green Mile tells the story of a Louisiana prison and all the strange and interesting inmates trapped within. It doesn't read as a Stephen King novel, mostly because it's not so much scary as it is philosophical and almost mystical. With a star-studded cast featuring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, Bonnie Hunt, and James Cromwell, it's no wonder it received such high praise (and four Oscar nominations)!
Stand By Me (1986)
While children and youth play into a lot of Stephen King narratives, you'd never expect this coming-of-age tale to be on his roster . . . mostly because there are no terrifying clowns or demonic corn children in sight. It follows four boys as they journey to find the missing body of a stranger. Stephen King revealed in an interview that this was his favorite movie adaptation of all time. "I thought it was true to the book and because it had the emotional gradient of the story. It was moving . . . when the movie was over, I hugged him because I was moved to tears, because it was so autobiographical."
Secret Window (2004)
Given the title and the thriller-like quality of Secret Window, you might think it's a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's paranoid classic, Rear Window. And again, this doesn't veer completely into the horror genre. It's actually based on a Stephen King novella called Secret Window, Secret Garden. Starring Johnny Depp and Maria Bello, it follows a writer who is accused of plagiarism by a dangerous stalker.
Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
Hearts in Atlantis is another film that seems like it's on the other end of the spectrum from Stephen King. It's packed with hope and mysticism, and it really leaves you changed on the other end.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Another film with the same sort of spiritual energy as The Green Mile, and it's set in a prison, too! The Shawshank Redemption is about a man who serves two consecutive life sentences for murders he didn't commit. While in prison, though, he manages to make the most of his days, and make a few friends along the way. King admitted the film is one of his favorite adaptations: "I have a number that I like, but I love The Shawshank Redemption and I've always enjoyed working with Frank. He's a sweet guy. Frank Darabont."