Ripe for a remake – The Dead Zone

Emily here, Paul’s allowed me to write a post for him, so here we go. This week I finished reading The Dead Zone by Stephen King. Having previously watched the film adaptation some time ago, ya know, the one that was directed by David Cronenberg and starred Christopher Walken as the protagonist John “Johnny” Smith, as I read the novel I could not stop myself from thinking, “This could so be adapted again for today’s audiences.”

I don’t always read novels thinking they could be turned into film adaptations, but stuff that has been previously adapted some time ago, and with the current trend in Hollywood to remake films from the last 30 years, The Dead Zone struck me as something that could be re-adapted. Ignoring the television series that ran for 6 seasons, I believe that it could be either remade as a slightly historical film, set in the 1970s or brought up to date.

Obviously, if it were bought up to date and set in the last ten years, we’d be swapping the Vietnam war with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the presidential and House of Representative campaigns with something akin, but looking more at the Bush administration and the controversies surrounding how it was re-elected. If you consider the dissatisfaction felt by various American voters since the 2008 presidential election, it would be quite easy to form a Stillson character that conforms to some of the tea-party stereotypes.

Christopher Walken looked brilliant for the role when it was out in 1983, but today I have no idea who would be best in the role

In regards to the character John Smith, it would be interesting to write about a character who is unconscious during some of the biggest leaps in personal technology that has happened over the last 10 years or so. And unlike with Jeffrey Boam’s version of events, I would be incredibly keen to keep it closer to the original novel.

I’m not saying that the original film adaptation is naff, I just feel that if Hollywood is looking for stories that it can bring into the 21st Century, this is certainly a contender for updating well.

Of course, if I was asked to rewrite it…


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