Alex Ross Perry is set to adapt a Stephen King novel for next project

The Her Smell writer/director is tackling ‘The Dark Half’ for MGM.

Words

Max Copeman

After six features, 2018’s Her Smell marked something of a breakthrough for Alex Ross Perry. Starring Elisabeth Moss, this portrait of a self-destructive punk-rocker propelled the American writer/director onto many best-of-the-year lists. Now, Deadline reports that Perry has decided to adapt Stephen King’s 1989 horror novel ‘The Dark Half’ for his next film.

There have been four King adaptations this year alone, but the backstory and premise for Perry’s project are particularly intriguing. The novel centres on a struggling writer whose high-brow work is overshadowed by the violent pulp fiction he writes under the pseudonym George Stark. With his secret exposed, he stages a mock burial for his alter ego, only for the funeral attendees to show up dead for real, implying Stark may be more than just a pen name.

Inspiration for the novel came from King’s own experience, albeit without the murderous twist. In the 1980s his publishers limited him to one annual release in order to build a brand and hype around his name. But King was too prolific, adopting the nom de plume Richard Bachman and even using a photo of his literary agent for the author bio. It wasn’t until 1985, after publishing five books this way, that a bookshop employee cottoned on to Bachman and King’s similar writing style and outed the author.

Horror maestro George Romero first brought ‘The Dark Half’ to the screen in 1993, yet the film was a box-office flop. As yet there are no details on casting for Perry’s adaptation, but like Romero’s movie it will be an MGM production.

Published 13 Dec 2019

Tags: Alex Ross Perry Stephen King

Suggested For You

10 Stephen King adaptations that are well worth your time

By James Morton

From Misery to The Shining, here are our favourite takes on the prolific horror writer’s work.

Her Smell

By Hannah Woodhead

Elisabeth Moss is a punk-rock musician spinning out of control in Alex Ross Perry's latest.

review LWLies Recommends

Every Stephen King film adaptation – ranked

By Little White Lies

Our guide to every film version of the great American author’s work, ranked from worst to best.

What are you looking for?

Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.

Editorial

Design