Stephen King Pushed The Boogeyman From Streaming Into Theaters

Thanks to pressure from Stephen King, The Boogeyman will be released in theaters rather than just on Hulu.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

stephen king

Fans can officially thank Stephen King for his dedication to the latest film adapted from his work as the Maximum Overdrive director is the person responsible for ensuring that The Boogeyman will make its way into theaters. According to SlashFilm, the title was initially set for a Hulu-only drop but when King himself watched it via an early release, he insisted that it secure a cinematic run. While we’ve known for a few months that the film was going to screen in theaters, details surrounding why haven’t been released until now. 

It’s been a long back and forth for Stephen King and the rest of the team behind The Boogeyman as it’s been in the works for several years and was already in pre-production before Disney took over Fox in 2019. A Quiet Place and 65 writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods were hard at work on a screenplay for the film’s adaptation when the project was axed in November 2021. It was then that Black Swan scribe Mark Heyman took over the writing room and the film went through a major storyline change with Rob Savage joining the project as the director.

Although he was worried that Stephen King wouldn’t appreciate the major differences between Heyman’s adaptation and the original story, Savage said that the legendary author contacted him after catching a screening in Bangor, Maine. With nothing but positive words to say about The Boogeyman, King praised the creative team’s direction and shared his belief that the title deserved a big screen release. This was the push of courage and kindness that Savage needed to champion the film which will be celebrating its theatrical premiere on June 2. 

stephen king

Just another masterful title in Stephen King’s sprawling horror collection, The Boogeyman was initially published in 1973 before it landed a second run in the author’s 1978 short story collection, Night Shift. A twisted tale of trauma and grief, the original book centers on a therapy session between psychiatrist Dr. Harper and his client Lester Billings after Lester’s children have all died after shouting the name of “the Boogeyman” before they met their unfortunate end. The major change between the book and the movie is that audiences can expect the kids to still be alive, with the story focusing on them and their terror-filled encounter with the titular monster.

When it comes to Stephen King, audiences, of course, know the big titles that have made their way into movies and series, with the classics like The Shining, It, Pet Sematary, Firestarter, Carrie, and Mr. Harrigan’s Phone all cementing themselves as successful on-screen adaptations. 2023 has undoubtedly been off to a rough start for titles from King’s canon as a reimagined version of Children of the Corn was recently released and widely panned by critics and long-time fans of the celebrated author. With the theatrical release of The Boogeyman putting audiences back into theater seats in a post-COVID-19 world, hopefully, the film will mark a successful return for the man that has chilled and thrilled us for almost 50 years.