John Carpenter Says He’s Done With Stephen King Adaptations


Writer-director John Carpenter was already a legend of horror filmmaking when he adapted Stephen King’s Christine for the big screen in 1983 – having previously delivered Dark Star, Assault On Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog, Escape From New York, and The Thing. That being the case, Christine was very much a meeting of great minds within the genre. Now that Carpenter’s Halloween franchise is being resuscitated with a new instalment, and Stephen King’s work is seeing a resurgence in screen adaptations, fans are wondering if the two creators might reunite for a new project. The answer, however, according to John Carpenter, is a resounding ‘no.’

Speaking to Consequence Of Sound about his latest music project – the newly released album Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 – Carpenter touched upon his adaptation of Christine, as part of a wide-ranging review of the music within his filmography. Despite renewed interest in the work of both storytellers, however, and despite the fact that Carpenter was once interested in making a Firestarter film, (“I would have loved to do that one. That was a great one,”) the director’s not itching to adapt any more Stephen King novels.

“No, oh, hell no. Are you kidding? That’s work. I don’t want to do that.”

To be clear, Carpenter is proud of Christine and the result of the effort that went into it.

“Oh sure, I’m proud of it. I’m proud of the performances in it, and I’m proud of some of the sequences with the car. Sure, I like it. It’s not my best movie, but it’s not my worst movie, so what the hell.

But, though he found that Stephen King was happy to relinquish all creative control of his work (“He just said do what you wish,”) John Carpenter is evidently happy – at this point in his extensive career – to be focusing on music, while other filmmakers (namely David Gordon Green – director of the upcoming Halloween movie) now put their spin on his original work. It seems the adaptation process has come full circle, and John Carpenter is just enjoying having a seat in the audience.