Stephen King Took The ‘Hands-Off’ Approach To The Original Adaptation Of It
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Stephen King Took The ‘Hands-Off’ Approach To The Original Adaptation Of It

The “It” screenwriter, it turns out, is a Constant Reader. When King’s sold the film rights to his debut novel “Carrie” to United Artists, Cohen was tapped to write the screenplay for the Brian De Palma masterpiece. Even after “It,” Cohen would go on to pen the adapted 1993 screenplay for King’s “The Tommyknockers,” and a segment for the 2006 anthology series “Nightmares & Dreamscapes.” In short, King had faith in the scribe to hew as close as possible to his original stories and do them justice.

Cohen supports King’s memory of production on the “It” miniseries, telling Yahoo that “Steve was pretty much radio silent throughout the process.” But there were mitigating factors to keep in mind:

“We became friends during the making of ‘Carrie,’ so I think he felt that ‘It’ would come out well, too. He also had the opportunity to read the various drafts of the script as I finished them. Secondly, he was comfortable about it being a novel for television. This was the heyday of networks adapting lengthy novels for TV, and initially It was going to be an eight-to-ten hour series. Thirdly, the producers brought George A. Romero onboard to direct. He and Steve had worked together on ‘Creepshow,’ and I was beyond ecstatic as a huge fan of ‘Night of the Living Dead.’ It was going to be the horror miniseries to end all horror miniseries. Of course, life doesn’t always work out the way it appears that it’s going to at the time.”

Indeed, the early ’90s saw the King-created novel-for-TV “Golden Years” alongside adaptations of “The Tommyknockers,” “The Stand,” and “The Langoliers.” Seeing as the 1990 iteration of “It” recently enjoyed some love on streaming, maybe it’s time for streaming giants to bring back the Stephen King miniseries adaptation.