Adapting Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne: The 1995 Drama Proves Kathy Bates Isn’t In Enough King Movies

By 1995, Castle Rock Entertainment established a niche market in the world of big screen Stephen King adaptations, a circumstance that fit like a glove given that the company’s name was technically taken from small Maine town that King invented as the setting of books and stories including The Dead Zone and Cujo. Rob Reiner, the director of Stand By Me and co-founder of Castle Rock, clearly formed a connection with the author’s work, and while producing movies like City Slickers, In The Line Of Fire, and Before Sunrise, the company made Reiner’s Misery, Fraser C. Heston’s Needful Things, and Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption – which became a phenomena upon its release on home video.

The era and collaboration served to change the reputation of Stephen King adaptations, turning heads of those who would ignorantly dismiss the author as a one-trick pony. Obviously nothing would stop the flow of pure horror movies made based on King’s work, like George A. Romero’s The Dark Half and Tobe Hooper’s The Mangler, but new dimensions were added to the perspective of possibilities with the catalogue of novels, novellas, and short-stories. This coincided with a period when the writer himself was undergoing major changes in his personal life – specifically a new dedication to sobriety – and his professional life, as he began to branch out in the kind of stories he would tell.

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