Stephen King's Adaptations [Infographic]

by |August 2, 2017

Stephen King's Adaptations: Film & Television Adaptations of Stephen King's Work

There's no question that Stephen King is the one of the most prominent, influential horror authors ever. Since selling his first short story in 1967, Stephen King has been a publishing machine over the past 50 years. He's penned more than 50 novels and more than 200 short stories, with plenty of other written work in between. Over the years, King has even built his own fictional universe in connecting the worlds described in his work, many of them to The Dark Tower series along with several other characters and locations that either appear or are referenced in other stories.

Not only has his work been the prime inspiration for several other authors, but for movie and television studios as well. To date, there have been more than 60 films and TV series adapted from novels, novellas, short stories, and even original screenplays. The next to be released is The Dark Tower, which is a continuation of the book series that combines elements adapted from the eight novels. The story from the movie will continue on in a Dark Tower TV series and as with the books, it is said to connect to other stories in King's universe. IT, the next Stephen King adaption to be released theatrically, is also said to have connections to the Dark Tower universe, which is evedent in the latest video tweeted out by Sony (btw, the latest IT trailer is terrifying!). You can see the full list of Stephen King's adapations and learn more about some of the connections in our infographic below!

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Stephen King's Adaptations: Film & Television Adaptations of Stephen King's Work Transcript

Over the past 50 years, Stephen King has published an expansive library in the form of books, short stories, screenplays and more. Here is a timeline of all his work that has been adapted for film or television.

*Note: Several sequels to the films listed have been produced, but they are not adapted from Stephen King's work and therefore not listed here.




Movie Based on 1974 Novel

  • This was the first Stephen King novel adapted into a movie.
  • The ending of the movie is different than the ending from the novel, and in fact, Stephen King liked the ending to the movie better than the ending of his own book.


Salem's Lot

TV Mini-Series Based on 1975 Novel

  • This was the first television mini-series (and the second film) to be based on the writings of author Stephen King.
  • In the novel Pet Sematary, Rachel passes a sign for Salem's Lot proving the two are connected to the same universe.


The Shining

Movie Based on 1977 Novel

  • According to Shelley Duvall, the infamous "Here's Johnny!" scene took 3 days to film and the use of 60 doors.
  • The book was written inside the Stanley Hotel. Stephen King stayed in the room that Danny is told not to go into.



Movie Based on 1982 Short Stories + Original Writing

  • Consists of five short films; two based on the short stories Weeds from 1976 and The Crate from 1979, the rest King wrote specifically for the film.



Movie Based on 1981 Novel

  • Although King contributed significantly to the script, he declined Writer's Guild credit.

The Dead Zone

Movie Based on 1979 Novel


Movie Based on 1983 Novel


Children of the Corn

Movie Based on 1977 Short Story

  • Based on a short story that was originally featured in the March 1977 issue of Penthouse; it would go on to inspire seven sequels.
  • On the dashboard of Burt and Vicki's car is a copy of Night Shift, the Stephen King short story collection in which Children of the Corn originally appeared.


Based on 1980 Novel


Cat's Eye

Movie Based on Short Stories + Original Writings

  • Consists of three short films; two based on the short stories Quitters, Inc. from 1978 and The Ledge from 1976, the other one was written specifically for the film.

Silver Bullet

Movie Based on 1983 Novella Cycle of the Werewolf


Maximum Overdrive

Movie Based on 1983 Short Story

Stand By Me

Movie Based on 1975 Novella

  • The movie is based on a short story called The Body from a book of short stories called Different Seasons. This book also includes the models for The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Apt Pupil (1998).



Movie Based on Short Stories + Original Writings

  • A sequel to the 1982 film, Creepshow 2 consists of three short films; one based on the short story The Raft from 1982, the other two were specifically written for the film.

The Lawnmower Man: A Suburban Nightmare Zone

Short Film Based on 1975 Short Story

The Running Man

Movie Based on 1982 Novel

Pet Sematary

Movie Based on 1983 Novel

  • The idea for this story came about when King's daughter's cat, Smuckey, was killed on the highway outside their home. Smuckey's name appears on gravestones in the pet cemetery, in both the film and the novel.


Tales From the Darkside: The Movie

Movie Based on 1990 Short Story

  • The movie consists of three short films; one based on the short story The Cat from Hell from 1977, the other two, Lot 249 & Lover's Vow have no connection to King.

Graveyard Shift

Movie Based on 1970 Short Story


TV Mini-Series Based on 1986 Novel

  • The night guard in the asylum is called Koontz, named after Stephen King's rival author Dean R. Koontz.
  • It was released in 1990, the same year that Bill Skarsgård was born. Skarsgård will portray Pennywise in the theatrical remake of It (2017).


Movie Based on 1987 Novel

  • As of 2017, Misery is the only Stephen King adaptation to receive an Academy Award; Kathy Bates won for Best Actress.
  • In the film, there is mention of a "guy who went mad in a hotel nearby". This is a reference to The Shining.


Sometimes They Come Back

TV Movie Based on 1974 Short Story

Golden Years

TV Series, Original Screenplay

  • King called Golden Years a "novel for television"; it originated as an idea for a novel that sat in King's notebook for years.
  • King credited Twin Peaks for making it possible for Golden Years to be produced.


The Lawnmower Man

  • An adaptation in title only; King eventually sued New Line Cinema in order to have his name removed from the film's title.


Movie, Original Screenplay


The Dark Half

Movie Based on 1989 Novel

  • The Dark Half and Needful Things both featured the character Sheriff Alan Pangborn. However, the character was portrayed by different actors in each film.

The Tommy Knockers

TV Mini-Series Based on 1987 Novel

Needful Things

Movie Based on 1990 Novel


The Stand

TV Mini-Series Based on 1978 Novel

The Shawshank Redemption

Movie Based on 1982 Novella

  • In Stephen King's original story, Red was written as a white Irishman. In the movie, they left the line, "Maybe it's 'cause I'm Irish" in as a joke, even after they had cast Morgan Freeman as Red.
  • The Shawshank Redemption received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and was the most rented video of 1995.


The Mangler

Movie Based on 1972 Short Story

Dolores Clairborne

Movie Based on 1992 Novel

The Langoliers

TV Mini-Series Based on 1990 Novella



Movie Based on 1984 Novel


The Shining

TV Mini-Series;  2nd Adaptation of the 1977 Novel

  • King, who disliked Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation in 1980, wrote the teleplay for this. He wanted to be more hands-on and was sure to include elements of the novel that were cut out of the film.

Quicksilver Highway

TV Series Based on Short Story

  • The movie consists of two short films; one based on the short story Chattery Teeth from 1993, the other is based on a short story by Clive Barker.

The Night Flier

Movie Based on 1988 short Story


TV Movie Based on 1978 Short Story


Apt Pupil

Movie Based on 1982 Novella

Storm of the Century

TV Mini-Series, Original Screenplay

  • The movie takes place on Little Tall Island off the coast of Maine, the same setting as King's Dolores Clairborne.
  • The series refers to Derry, the fictional town in other Stephe King works, It (1990) and Insomnia.


The Green Mile

Movie Based on 1996 Novel

  • More than thirty works of Stephen King have been adapted to movies, but this was the only one to break the 100 million dollar mark ($136,801,374) at the U.S. box office.


Hearts in Atlantis

Based on 1999 Novella


Rose Red

TV Mini-Series, Original Screenplay

The Dead Zone

TV Series Based on 1979 Novel


Movie, 2nd Adaptation of 1974 Novel



Movie Based on 2001 Novel


Kingdom Hospital

TV Series Based on Lars Von Trier's Mini-Series The Kingdom

Secret Window

Movie Based on 1990 Novella Secret Window, Secret Garden

Salem's Lot

TV Mini-Series, Second Adaptation of 1975 Novel

Riding the Bullet

Based on 2002 Novella


Gotham Cafe

Short Film Based on 1995 Short Story Lunch at the Gotham Café



TV Movie Based on 1996 Novel

Nightmares and Dreamscapes

TV Mini-Series Based on 1993 Short Story Collection


The Mist

Movie Based on 1980 Novella

No Smoking

Movie Based on 1978 Short Story


Movie Based on 1999 Short Story

  • The axe the fireman uses to break down the hotel door at the end of the movie is the same axe the Jack Nicholson used in The Shining (1980).
  • The numbers 1,4,0 and 8 add up to 13, a number of great significance to the movie.


Children of the Corn

Movie, 2nd Adaptation of 1977 Short Story

Dolan's Cadillac

Movie Based on 1985 Short Story



TV Series Loosely Inspired by 2005 Novel The Colorado Kid


Bag of Bones

TV Mini-Series Based on 1998 Novel

Under the Dome

TV Series Based on 2009 Novel

  • The series is based on Stephen King's novel Under the Dome. In his afterword, King says he first started the novel with 75 pages in 1976, then set it aside until 2007-2009.



Movie, 3rd Adaptation of 1974 Novel

  • This was the third adaptation of Carrie. King questioned why this was made when the original was so good.


A Good Marriage

Movie Based on 2010 Novella (Screenplay by Stephen King)


Movie Based on 1985 Short Story

Big Driver

TV Movie Based on the Novella, 2010



Hulu Original Programming Based on 2011 Novel


Movie Based on 2006 Novel (Screenplay by Stephen King)


The Mist

TV Series Based on 1980 Novella

  • Though the series was announced after the release of the film adaptation in 2007, production didn't begin until summer of 2016 with the show premiering in June 2017. (The story was released in stand-alone paperback form to coincide with the TV series as well.)

The Dark Tower

Movie Based on 1991 Novel

  • Said to be based on part three of the eight-part series of novels, The Dark Tower movie will precede a television adaptation that is said to be a continuation of the franchise. Idris Elba, who plays the Gunslinger, is set to be involved with the series.

Mr. Mercedes

TV Series Based on 2014 Novel


Movie Based on 1986 Novel

  • This movie is set to be released 27 years after the original television release. In the book, it is mentioned that "It" returns to Derry approximately 27 years.
  • Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgård is attached to the 2018 Hulu series Castle Rock based on stories by Stephen King.


That's a whole lot of things to watch! We're pretty sure even more went into production in the time it took us to put this together. Which Stehen King movie or book is your favorite? Is there one that stands out to you as most scary? For us, it's a tie between IT and Pet Semetary, but there are tons of other honorable mentions. Leave us a comment on here or our Facebook page and let us know what you're afraid of. If you aren't coulrophobic (afraid of clowns), maybe you'll want to pick up a scary clown costume for scaring others. You know, for laughs.

Design Credit: Travis Green

Devin Rubink
Devin Rubink

Devin Rubink is an Inbound Marketing Specialist for He is a film fanatic who enjoys watching anything from action, to comedy, to horror, and even movies that are so bad, they’re entertaining. Devin also enjoys dressing up in costumes with his kids, although he finds it difficult to fit into some of the princess dresses. He studies Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit, to buff up his knowledge and help him achieve his dream of being a game show contestant.