Stephen King Sells Film Rights for Short Story to Teenagers for $1
Stephen King sold the rights to his short story Stationary Bike to film students in South Wales for $1, The Express Tribune reported Sunday.
Stationary Bike is one of the 30 stories that do not have film contracts listed on King’s website. Film students can request rights for one of the stories by filling out a simple form on the website, which asks for the potential filmmaker’s name, email address, desired story, and a typed message in a text box. In a letter at the top of the page, King calls these film students his “Dollar Babies.” It may take up to one month to receive a reply to a request, and a student cannot have more than one contract at a time.
The students adapting Stationary Bike, who attend the Blaenau Gwent Film Academy, will not be able to make a profit from the film, but they hope to have it screened at film festivals, and King will get a DVD copy as part of the deal. Green Valley Film Productions will help the students make the movie. An employee there said, “They (King’s office) were fantastic.” They got back to the prospective filmmakers within 24 hours with how they could obtain the rights. The contract was signed within a few days after they sent a dollar to the United States.
Alfie Evans, 16, and Cerys Cliff, 14, are writing the script and cast a local actor in the lead. Filming could begin around Christmas in and around the kids’ hometown of Tredegar. To create the main character’s basement, they will use the backstage of Little Theatre Cinema in Tredegar, and outdoor scenes can be shot in the area’s mountains and forests.
Stationary Bike is about Richard Sekkitz, an artist who has high cholesterol and begins riding a stationary bike in the basement of his New York apartment to tackle the problem. He becomes bored, buys maps, and plots a route from New York to the town of Herkimer, marking off miles he has “ridden” towards his goal each day. As he gets close to his goal, he starts to feel like someone is following him on his daily rides.
Stationary Bike might just be the beginning of a successful career for these film students, as was the case for Frank Darabont, another one of King’s “Dollar Babies.” He bought the rights to The Woman in the Room for $1, and later went on to direct The Shawshank Redemption in 1994, a movie based on a King novella.
Upcoming theatrical releases of King’s work include It: Chapter Two and a remake of 1989’s Pet Sematary, both to be released next year.