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You can obtain permission to adapt stories by Stephen King for just $1

You can obtain permission to adapt stories by Stephen King for just $1

Stephen King’s books have been adapted into some of the most iconic movies of all time, like The Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me, Misery and The Shining.

Last year’s adaption of It brought King's unforgettably horrifying monster Pennywise to modern screens, and a trailer for a remake of Pet Sematary has just been released.

While these blockbuster flicks are churned out by the juggernaut of Hollywood, Stephen King also has an eye out for the little guy.

Permission to adapt a selection of his 200-odd short stories is available to amateur film and theatre-makers at a bargain-bin price of a buck.

Acquiring rights to a text can cost thousands of dollars – especially when you’re dealing with someone of King’s fame – so, as the horror writer began his ascent to stratospheric success in the 70s with the production of The Shawshank Redemption, he started the ‘Dollar Babies’ initiative to ‘give back a little of the joy the movies had given me.’ 

Many of the dollar-films are shorts made by students, and King has noted wryly that ‘in many cases one viewing was all a person could bear.’

However, a dollar-adaption of King's 1978 short story The Woman in the Room was a semi-finalist in the 1983 Academy Awards. The director of that short, Frank Darabont, went on to direct the feature films The Mist and The Green Mile, both based on King novels.

Stories currently available for adaption include ‘Beachworld’, where two spaceship crash survivors explore a planet blanketed by sand, ‘Cain Rose Up’, the story of a college student who begins shooting people from his dorm room with a sniper rifle, and ‘Graduation Afternoon’, in which Manhattan is blown up by an atomic bomb. These are stories by the King of Horror, remember.

Most recently, a pair of 14-year-old and 16-year-old Welsh filmmakers acquired permission for ‘Stationary Bike’, the story of a man who begins training on an exercise bike in his basement – but then begins to suspect that someone is following him.

Punters don’t actually receive the full rights to the stories, and can only create non-commercial adaptions, but the initiative allows aspiring film and theatre-makers to work with writing from one of the world’s most masterful storytellers.