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Salem’s Lot Star Explains Why Adapting Stephen King’s Story is So Scary

Exclusive: Lewis Pullman, star of the upcoming horror film Salem’s Lot, talks about why adapting a Stephen King story for the big screen is so scary.

The star of the upcoming horror film Salem’s Lot explains why adapting the Stephen King story for the screen is so scary. King’s novel of the same name was first released in 1975 and has since become one of King’s most notable works, alongside works like The ShiningIT, and Carrie. While Salem’s Lot has been adapted into several TV shows and miniseries in the past, it was announced in April of 2019 that New Line Cinema would be releasing Salem’s Lot as a feature film.

Salem’s Lot follows Ben Mears, a writer who returns to his hometown of Jerusalem’s Lot in Maine to try and write his next novel – only for Ben to realize that the town is being preyed upon by a vampire, who has begun to turn the residents into vampires themselves. In April of 2020, it was announced that Gary Dauberman, writer for the Annabelle and It films, would be the film adaptation’s director. One year later, actor Lewis Pullman was cast to portray the lead role of Ben Mears. Pullman most recently starred in the romantic drama film Press Play.

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In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Pullman discussed why adapting Stephen King’s horror story is so scary. Pullman says that, aside from how terrifying King’s horror writing is, it’s intimidating to adapt the work of an author with such a strong legacy – and to faithfully adapt such a lengthy story. Like many of King’s booksSalem’s Lot is very long, which is why so many adaptations of the story were formatted as miniseries or two-part series – and Pullman says that having to condense the book into a single feature film is extremely difficult. Read Pullman’s full comment below:


Talk about scary for two reasons! Because it’s Stephen King, and the legacy is strong for a reason. And then also the material.

Salem’s Lot is just one of the coolest books, and I think there’s a reason why it hasn’t been made into a feature. It’s been made into these two-part series, but it’s such a long book. It’s hard to condense that into a feature length film, but [writer-director] Gary Dauberman has really tapped into the vein of this genre. It feels like he has liberty to play with it a little bit and reinvent it.

Salem's Lot Tobe Hooper 1979 Stephen King

Having written 64 novels over 46 years and being considered one of the world’s most prolific writers, adapting a King story into another format is an intimidating challenge – especially stories that are extremely long. However, Salem’s Lot has only 439 pages, which is nothing in comparison to King’s IT, which stands at 1,138 pages. With the 2017 adaptation of IT being a smash-hit in the box office and with horror fans, there is proof that adaptations of King’s longer novels can be highly successful – and with Dauberman having written for both IT and IT Chapter Two, the director has a wealth of experience in successfully adapting King’s horror stories for the silver screen.


Earlier this year, a film adaptation of King’s Firestarter hit theatres in May and wound up being a box-office flop, partly due to it being available on Peacock. If IT is proof that film adaptations of King’s works can be massive successes, Firestarter is proof of the opposite – and it remains to be seen which lead Salem’s Lot will follow. While Salem’s Lot isn’t due to hit theatres until September 9, 2022, audiences can still catch Pullman in Press Play, which is currently in theatres and on-demand.

Next: Stephen King Almost Saved 2020’s The Stand Miniseries

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