The Dark Half Comes Back From the Dead as the Latest Stephen King Adaptation

Timothy Hutton starred as writer Thad Beaumont in George Romero’s 1993 adaptation of The Dark Half.
Timothy Hutton starred as writer Thad Beaumont in George Romero’s 1993 adaptation of The Dark Half.
Image: MGM (YouTube)

It’s time to add another one to the Stephen King pile. Her Smell writer and director Alex Ross Perry has signed onto adapt a new version of The Dark Half, about a writer whose more thrilling alter ego starts taking on a life of his own, with inspiration drawn from King’s own life story.

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As reported by Deadline, Perry is set to direct a new version of The Dark Half for MGM, the studio behind the 1993 adaptation directed by George Romero. The story is loosely based on King’s own experience having his alter ego exposed. Decades ago, King invented a writer named Richard Bachman so he could publish more than one book per year, as well as do an experiment on whether the Stephen King name was carrying book sales more than the quality of his work. He released four stories between 1977 and 1982 as Bachman (he’d also been planning on releasing Misery under the pseudonym) before a bookstore clerk in Washington, DC figured out the truth.

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After his secret identity was unveiled, King first released the collection of stories in 1985 under the title The Bachman Books, where he explained why he had created the alter ego in the first place (that collection is currently out of print because the first story, Rage, is about a high school shooting). A later press release announced Bachman had died in 1985 of “cancer of the pseudonym.”

The alter ego and his subsequent death were later the inspiration for King’s 1989 novel, The Dark Half. In this story, a writer named Thad Beaumont (played in the original movie by Timothy Hutton) is exposed as the real man behind George Stark, a popular thriller writer, leading Beaumont to hold a mock funeral for the pseudonym as a publicity stunt. Little does Thad know that George is a parasitic twin who cannot be gotten rid of so easily. The movie was a terrifying take on the Jekyll and Hyde saga, littered with nods to King’s own past and the strange trip he took with the now-deceased Richard Bachman.

The Dark Half is the latest in a series of King stories to get adaptations on the big and small screen—so much so, we can’t even begin to list them all here. You can check out on ongoing list of Stephen King adaptations here and watch the video above. No expected release date for The Dark Half has been announced yet.


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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

sumacalpha
DemonmonkeyZero

Now i feel i should dig out my hardback of the Bachman Books out of mothballs and give it a read. Havent read it before, didnt realize that’s why King made up Bachman. Should be fun in this new light. Also: The Running Man!