Stephen King Calls Out Warner Bros. For Shelving Anticipated Movie

By Brian Myers | Published

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  • Stephen King publicly called out Warner Bros. for failing to release one of his adaptations.
  • Stephen King tweeted this week that he has seen the adaptation of Salem’s Lot, that he liked it, and that he doesn’t understand why it hasn’t been released.
  • Salem’s Lot has suffered a number of delays, and was originally was supposed to release in 2023.
  • As of yet Warner Bros. has offered no explanation on the latest delays.

Bestselling novelist Stephen King has gone to X to express his frustrations over the indefinite delay in releasing the Warner Bros. film Salem’s Lot. The writer, most known for his numerous entries in horror literature, tweeted that he’s “not sure” why the film studio would continue to hold off on the release of the movie, continuing to add that he has seen it and that it’s “quite good.” King ended his post with the quip “Who knows. I just write the f***ing things.”

The King Has His Army

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But Stephen King isn’t alone in his opinion. The highly anticipated remake of Salem’s Lot was seen by audiences over the course of two test screenings to highly positive reception. With horror films like The Nun 2, The Exorcist: Believer, and Scream 6 doing so well at theaters in 2023, it’s hard to imagine just why Warner Bros. is holding off on releasing what is almost assuredly going to be a box office success.

Cursed By Delays

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Horror fans around the world have been excited about the feature film since Salem’s Lot was first announced way back in 2019. The film marks the first time that Stephen King’s 1975 novel of the same name would get the big movie studio treatment that many horror aficionados believe it deserves. But Covid-19-related delays put a hold on production, and some necessary reshoots in early 2022 pushed the completion of the project out even further.

When it was announced that Salem’s Lot would be debuting in theaters on April 21, 2023, Stephen King fans around the world rejoiced. But that jubilation was soon cooled with the subsequent news from the studio that it was going to delay the release so that it wouldn’t interfere with box office returns on their other horror film at theaters at that time, Evil Dead Rise.

Previous Adaptations

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The Stephen King tale of a vampire and his henchman moving into a small Maine community has been developed for television twice. In 1979, CBS aired a two-part miniseries that starred David Soul, James Mason, and Bonnie Bedelia. In 2006, TNT offered their own version of Salem’s Lot. This incarnation was also a TV mini-series, with stars Rob Lowe, Andre Braugher, Donald Sutherland, and Samantha Mathis.

King Promises A Lot

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In his tweet, Stephen King promised potential audiences that the theatrical version of Salem’s Lot had all the necessary elements of a great horror film, most notably that the movie was a “slow build, big payoff.” For fans that recall the chilling elements that were pervasive throughout both TV versions of Salem’s Lot, King’s words create a bold statement, the validity of which they cannot wait to test.

Straight To Max?

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While Warner Bros. hasn’t mentioned any date that Salem’s Lot can be seen in theaters, there are whispers in the industry that do give Stephen King and his fans some hope. Rather than a theatrical release, it’s believed that Salem’s Lot MIGHT get its run on the streaming service Max. It’s known that several streaming giants are hungry for content due to production gaps that stem from last year’s writers’ strike.

Whether or not Salem’s Lot will be viewed in theaters or via streaming is yet to be seen. But as vocal as Stephen King is on X, you can imagine that fans will hear it directly from the horse’s mouth as soon as any new developments are revealed.