Why Stephen King Rejected Netflix’s Pitch to Adapt His ‘Favorite’ Book

Stephen King recently shared that he once rejected Netflix‘s pitch to adapt his “favorite” of his books. During a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, King spoke about Lisey’s Story, a novel he wrote that was finally adapted for Apple TV , revealing that he could have allowed it to be turned into a live-action project sooner, but was not interested at the time. “I love that book. I held onto it,” King confessed.

The iconic horror writer went on to share, “There were offers to do it as a film or as a limited series in the earlier days of Netflix. The issue would come up, and I always said no because I wanted to do it myself if I could, if the time seemed right for that. The streaming thing is so wonderful because there are no ads to break the mood, to break the dramatic build of the story with dancing toilet bowls or something like that. And you don’t have to cut the thing perfectly so that it fits in a little 42-minute box so the next show can come up.”

King continued, “You’re given a little more space, a little more room. I love that, I thought it would be a perfect medium for Lisey. And that’s the way it turned out in my humble opinion, as they say, IMHO.” Back in 2017, King was speaking with Variety about Mr. Mercedes — a TV series based on one of King’s novel series — and he confessed at the time that Lisey’s Story was his favorite book that had not yet been adapted.

Lisey’s Story is my favorite of the books and I would love to see that done, especially now that there’s a kind of openness on the streaming services on TV and even the cable networks. There’s more freedom to do stuff now and when you do a movie from a book, there’s this thing that I call the sitting on a suitcase syndrome. That is where you try to pack in all the clothes at once and the suitcase won’t close, so you just sit on it until it latches.”

King added, “Sometimes when it comes down on the baggage carousel, it busts open and your dirty laundry is everywhere. So it’s tough to take a book that is fully textured and has all the wheels turning and do it in two hours and 10 minutes. But as a TV show you have 10 hours, there’s always the possibility of doing something like The Handmaid’s Tale, which is extraordinary.”

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