Are We Experiencing Stephen King Movie Fatigue?

2019 was a rather interesting year for Stephen King fans. If you’re into the horror author’s work, then you would have been looking forward to watching It Chapter 2 and Doctor Sleep, however, those movies based on Stephen King’s work weren’t so good.

We’ve been experiencing something of a Stephen King movie renaissance over the last few years.

The last few years have seen some of the very best on-screen adaptations of King’s work.

We had the likes of Gerald’s Game, from Mike Flanagan, which was fantastic and you can watch it on Netflix right now.

Then we had Andy Muschietti’s It, and that film turned out to be not only a real crowd-pleaser, but it ended up being the highest-grossing horror movie of all time.

The success of these two movies seemed to excite a lot of people in the movie industry who realised audiences were really getting into the Stephen King movie adaptations.

Are people a bit tired of Stephen King movie adaptations?

The Cast of It Chapter 2 Stephen King horror movies

The Cast of It Chapter 2 – Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Read more: Doctor Sleep’s Director Reveals Stephen King’s Reaction To The Movie

However, not all good things last, and there was bound to be one dud along the way, and boy was there.

2019 promised to be a big year as far as King movie adaptations were concerned. First off, we were going to get to see Muschietti’s sequel to his box office smash hit, It, called It Chapter 2.

That movie was then going to be followed-up by Mike Flanagan’s take on King’s sequel novel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep.

Both films boasted an incredible cast. It Chapter 2 featured the likes of James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader. Doctor Sleep’s two main actors were Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson.

These are all pretty big names, and the fact they were able to get such well-known actors in these Stephen King-based horror movies proved that Hollywood was starting to take them very seriously again.

Not since Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining had we seen a well-known actor – a proper A-lister – agree to star in a King horror movie.

Jack Nicholson’s performance as Jack Torrence has gone down in cinema history, however, you’d be hardpressed to find a movie based on a Stephen King novel with as big a name as Nicholson since then.

2019 was going to be the year of King

Redrum is back in Doctor Sleep

Redrum is back in Doctor Sleep – Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Read more: Doctor Sleep Director Reveals Stephen King Didn’t Want The Movie To Be Made At First

However, with the likes of Chastain, McAvoy and McGregor all starring in Stephen King movies in 2019, it looked like things were going to change.

Just as an aside, we did get the likes of Tom Hanks in the Green Mile and Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption, but they aren’t horror movies, so it’s a bit different.

Yet, It Chapter 2 and Doctor Sleep’s box office takings were pretty abysmal, especially Doctor Sleep, and Warner Bros. Pictures has now put their Doctor Sleep sequel plans on hold.

It also seems as though they’ve put their Stephen King movie adaptations on hold, at least for now.

It feels as if Hollywood did too much, too soon. It would have been best to make sure these movies were as good as they possibly could be and then release them.

There’s also the fact that both these film’s launches were botched. They missed the Halloween release window for Doctor Sleep and It Chapter 2 was released during September when it really should have hit cinemas on Halloween.

The release of both Doctor Sleep and It Chapter 2 was botched

Too many call backs to The Shining in Doctor Sleep

Too many call backs to The Shining in Doctor Sleep (Credit: Warner Bros.)

Read more: Here Are The 10 Best Horror Films From The Past Decade

However, I think these things tend to come in waves. We rode a wave of great Stephen King movie adaptations and 2019 was the time to get off.

There will be another wave to catch in the future, and when that time comes, hopefully, the people involved will do more to ensure it lasts a bit longer next time.

That said, I know a lof of people who enjoyed Doctor Sleep and It Chapter 2, however, the box office numbers spell a very different picture.

People just seem to be a bit tired of Stephen King movie adaptations these days.

What did you think of It Chapter 2 and Doctor Sleep? Let us know in the comments below.

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