Stephen King, literature’s king of horror, believes his work will “disappear” from bookshelves when he dies.
It’s hard to understate King’s impact on pop culture. Adaptations of his wicked, terrifying stories have led to some of the most iconic horror movies of all time, whether it’s The Shining, Carrie, Misery, each live-action version of It, and Children of the Corn, among others.
We mustn’t forget his sweeter contributions to cinema: The Shawshank Redemption is rightly revered as one of the greatest movies ever made, and Stand By Me is a timeless coming-of-age classic for every generation. The Mist also packs the ultimate gut-punch in its ending – albeit, an ending that was different from King’s original conclusion.
Year after year, his work reaches a new reader. His vast bibliography – he’s published a total of 64 novels, with seven penned under the name Richard Bachman – has yielded sales of more than 350 million copies. Any book shop you visit will have multiple shelves dedicated to King – and yet, he doesn’t think his legacy will last.
Stephen King thinks his name will “disappear” from bookshops
During a recent appearance on Bloody Disgusting’s The Losers’ Club Podcast, King spoke about the It prequel series in development for HBO Max.
He joked: “I think that when I die I will kind of disappear from the paperback racks. But that f***ing clown is going to live forever.”
While he (falsely) believes that his work won’t be remembered too far beyond him, King isn’t slowing down. This year alone, he’s released Gwendy’s Final Task, with another novel, Fairy, set to arrive in September. He’s also working on Holly, which will be based around past global restrictions, and he recently finished a sequel to Cujo, titled Rattlesnakes.
Back in 2019, while appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he said: “God will tell me when to retire. He’ll say, ‘Get out of the game, hang up your jock, you’re done.’ But until then, this is the best job in the world because no one can make you retire at a mandatory age. You can just continue until you start to drivel.”
Stephen King says It prequel series is an “okay idea”
In the recent podcast interview, King admitted he doesn’t have a “relationship to Pennywise now, because [he has] no intention of going back to It.”
Welcome to Derry, set to be executive produced by It director Andy Muschietti, along with Barbara Muschietti and Jason Fuchs, will be set in the 1960s and lead into the events of the 2017 film.
“They’re talking about it anyway. And they’ve got sort of a handshake deal, I think, with HBO Max. It’s an interesting possibility to do that. They talked about a prequel. Which struck me as an okay idea,” King said.
“I’d love to see what Pennywise was up to 27 years before the ’50s. Or, I guess it would be the ’80s, because they updated the [setting]. So it would be, you know, before World War II or something. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen with that.”