Stephen King Adaptation Getting A Second Shot

By Jason Collins | Updated

Promotional art for The Langoliers miniseires

The director of the recently released The Boogeyman, Rob Savage, recently opened up about the possibility of adapting yet another Stephen King story. In his interview with, Savage seemed confident that his take on The Langoliers, another short story by King, has a pretty good chance of getting off the ground and landing on the big screen.

“We’ve got such a great idea for developing that one out from the short story. Of all the ones in King’s work that have been adapted, I don’t think it’s ever been done justice to.”

Rob Savage on The Langoliers

The director also revealed that the rights to Stephen King’s The Langoliers need sorting out and that he’s hoping for a positive resolution. He also added that they had a great idea for developing a full-length film from the short story and expressed that The Langoliers was the only work of King’s that never received proper treatment in terms of adapting the material for the silver screen. According to Savage, he’s enticed to adapt The Langoliers because the material plays with ideas that haven’t been seen in a horror movie thus far.

For those that aren’t familiar with Stephen King’s work, The Langoliers was a part of King’s 1990 novella collection Four Past Midnight. The narrative follows the group of eleven people who awaken to discover everyone else aboard their flight to Boston has vanished.

What follows is a story involving The Langoliers, time-eating creatures that consume past time, thus keeping the fabric of time clean. Since the premise of the story contains unintentional time travel, lingering in the past after time travel becomes dangerous due to the presence of the Langoliers.

“It plays with ideas that I’ve never seen explored in a horror movie. The idea of time, and decaying time, and these creatures that are eating the time left behind — there’s such a great, cosmic horror movie to be made there that lends itself so well to film.”

Rob Savage on The Langoliers
The Langoliers miniseries (1995)

It’s a great story about the inexorable passage of time and the idea that one can’t live in the past. ABC adapted Stephen King’s The Langoliers into a TV miniseries in 1995, but the showrunners took a lot of liberties with the source material, resulting in a lukewarm reception among the audiences and middling reviews from the critics and fans of King’s original work.

Fortunately, the technology has improved significantly since 1995, allowing Savage to adapt The Langoliers more accurately for the big screen.

Furthermore, Savage, who’s no stranger to Stephen King adaptations, reworked 1973’s The Boogeyman and made it work in the present day. The movie, which is currently available on streaming, follows the Harper family, primarily a high-school student, Sadie Harper, and her younger sister, Sawyer, who are reeling from the recent death of her mother.

When their father’s patient unexpectedly comes seeking help, he leaves behind a terrifying supernatural entity that feeds on the suffering of its victims. The very same treatment could be applied to The Langoliers.

That would grant Savage the opportunity to explore the characters’ respective experiences somewhat differently, with modern-day worries plaguing the group of characters rather than those from the early ’90.

A good example of such adaptations is Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s television adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel for Netflix, which was a massive success among audiences. This could also mean that the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Langoliers might take a much more experimental approach.

Unfortunately, the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Langoliers still hasn’t been officially announced, but given Rob Savage’s enthusiasm, it’s not outside the realm of possibilities.