Stephen King sounds off on new 'Carrie' remake -- EXCLUSIVE

Carrie-Stephen-King

Image Credit: Everett Collection

Thirty-five years after Stephen King’s first best-seller roared into theaters and scared a generation of prom-going teens, MGM and Screen Gems have hired playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to resurrect Carrie with a more faithful adaptation of King’s novel, according to Deadline.

But King, who famously disapproved of Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining, tells EW he still has a soft spot for Brian De Palma’s original film: “I’ve heard rumblings about a Carrie remake, as I have about The Stand and It. Who knows if it will happen? The real question is why, when the original was so good? I mean, not Casablanca, or anything, but a really good horror-suspense film, much better than the book. Piper Laurie really got her teeth into the bad-mom thing. Although Lindsay Lohan as Carrie White… hmmm. It would certainly be fun to cast. I guess I could get behind it if they turned the project over to one of the Davids: Lynch or Cronenberg.”

Aguirre-Sacasa, who recently rewrote the Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark script, is an accomplished comic-book author familiar with the King oeuvre; he adapted King’s epic The Stand into comic-book form in 2008.

Read more:
Stephen King: 10 Things I Know About the Remake of ‘The Stand’
Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’: Our wish-list cast

Comments (180 total) Add your comment
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  • Matt W

    Interesting considering King doesn’t usually care about his books turning into movies except the Dark Tower.

    • Stephen’s therapist

      Lilo is too old for the role of Carrie. And I’m sure they’ll do something horrible to the story, like bring in back characters to explain how Carrie became telepathic, involving toxic waste or radiation or some such nonsense.

      • Sheri

        Sissy Spacek was 26 or 27 when she made Carrie – Lilo is only 24.

      • Jack

        But Lindsay Lohan looks like she’s 39.

      • avlisk

        Jack, you are being kind to say only 39.

      • Ellen

        I’m pretty sure that was a joking remark by King

      • tom

        that’s because people love the dark tower.. I don’t care about some horror movie.. go for it

      • Interesting

        Ellen you don’t know Stephen King at all..actually Stephen seems to genuinely being interested by having Lindsey Lohan cast as Carrie with a director like David Lynch or David Cronenberg..Stephen King loves border-line characters..like little miss Lohan..

    • Ames

      Why does Hollywood think that no one will remember that a world existed before 2000? Even movies made in 1999 have already been redone. Pathetic lack of talent in Hollywood- now it’s “who can rip off the best pre-existing film, song, or TV show”

      • Fennec

        1999? You’re about 8 years off. “Death At A Funeral” from 2007 has already been remade. Twice.

    • tom

      does anyone realize there is a carie 2 and 3….who cares if they remake it! We remake everything….every TV show is a remake if a show from 50 years ago….they atarted it…..um…i love lucy=friends…..nuff said ….think about it!

    • tom

      FYI….stephen king….like John Grisham….stopped letting people make movies out of their books cause they sucked…..lately…yes stephen must need money….but John grisham….keeps his trap shut…they made a few good movies for each of them…then it went to poop….think about history people and stop complaining….if king says no to a remake I commend him….if he says yes he needs money….think of it in lamens terms

      • Hugh

        There’s a TV show…starting…in September…based on John…Grisham’s The… Firm.
        And why…are you writing…like…this?

      • Mookie Love

        Tom, I am unable to think in “lamens” terms; you apparently are.

      • Jonny

        Actually, Stephen King doesn’t own the rights to a lot of his stuff anymore because its so old, or was bought long ago and he has no control of it anymore. It’s not like they have to ask him every time they want to make a movie about his books. He didn’t know about the new “stand” movie until he read about it on the internet.

      • Jonny

        Also, I’m guessing that most of the time he DOES say yes to someone making a movie out of his books its more curiosity than for money.

      • Douglas

        Stephen King does NOT need the money. He’s the best selling author in the world. His annual income is in the millions. It’s been well over 30 years since he ever had to do anything for the sole purpose of making money. CARRIE, of course, has already been remade once, as a TV movie, which was obviously forgettable, but the DePalma film is a classic.

  • ObiHave

    Would someone please pass a law against remakes…although the thought of Lindsey Lohan covered in pig’s blood whets my appetite…a little.

    • Carbon Nine

      As bad as most remakes are, most recent audiences are out of touch with the reality that Hollywood has ALWAYS done this. Even in the Thirties, Forties, and Fifties they would often remake films over and over within ten years of the previous version–films that had first been made in the Silent Era.

      And, once in a great while, a remake has the better film—the one to become a classic. The Maltese Falcon (1941)with Humphrey Bogart, directed by John Huston, was the THIRD adaptation of the Dashiell Hammett novel in a decade, previously made as Satan Met A Lady (1936)and The Maltese Falcon (1931). Just as sequels were once considered to be always inferior to the first film until The Godfather Part II came waltzing along.

      • Pookie

        Thanks for posting this. Most people don’t realize that remakes have always been de rigueur in Hollywood. The current screeching about remakes is most likely made by younger (and even older) viewers who know nothing of film history. Also, since TVs inception, it has also been a bastion of film remakes, starting in the 50s, through today. Unfortunately, “rehashing” is, and always has been, an industry standard.

      • milesaugust

        The difference is, back when Maltese Falcon was being made in triplet, there wasn’t TV, or vhs-dvd for people who missed the theatrical runs to see over and over again. Big difference now.

      • Rob

        ^ That is a good point. Plus, there have always been remakes but they have never been made with the frequency that they are being made now. Also, most of the remakes during the “Golden Age” of cinema were readaptations of silent films into talkies, which at least takes more skill and talent than remaking a movie in the same format.

      • NotAmerican

        I cannot remember a time when re-boots, remakes, restarts, just REALLY unoriginal films, were so damn prolific! Almost every review of last year’s “Inception” made a big deal of how it was – gasp! – completely original, not based on a TV commercial or a cereal box. Although I do have to admit that these film remakes are better quality movies than the glut of old TV shows made into films.

        BTW, a quick note about Godfather II. Both I and II were made from the one book, which is why Coppola wanted to call the sequel “The Godfather: Part II” – he saw it as a direct continuation of The Godfather. However, this threw Paramount into a tizzy, because previously, movie sequels were given completely different titles. (Think “Bride Of Frankenstein”, “Son Of…”, “The Curse Of…”; or the Dirty Harry films). Now, of course, the thought of, say, naming the 3rd Iron Man movie anything BUT “Iron Man 3″ isn’t even considered. You know the old joke about “I would have seen ‘Henry V’, but I missed the first four.”? Apparently this is a real consideration for studios. The BBC called their adaptation “The Life of Henry the Fifth”; and when the movie “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” was made, John McNaughton wanted to just call it “Henry”. However, he was strongly advised against it, because people would think it was the first film in the “series” that also included “Henry V”.

    • Dave

      “Ben-Hur, An Affair to Remember, A Star is Born, The Ten Commandments”, even “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” All of these films have been remade into better versions than their originals. The remakes are now considered classics.

      Not to mention classics that are re-imaginings of earlier films such as “The Magnificent Seven.”

      • liz

        No, the remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was not better. Maybe the others were, but not that one.

    • irwan

      i would pass a law against 3D movies first, before remakes, the bad ones i mean. like, i don’t really mind the new Dawn of the Dead, The Dark Knight (it was a somewhat remake of Burton’s original Batman, with both the Joker and Harvey Dent in the movie).
      with 3D..i just never get the resurrection of it. it was cool back in the 50′s maybe, but now..it’s more “mehh..”

    • Douglas

      You comment “Would someone please pass a law against remakes” translates to “Would someone please revoke the First Amendment.” You can not pass laws banning people from filming whatever they darn well please, and the idea that because YOU don’t like something, no one should be allowed to do it is called “Fascism.”

  • he’s always been tough on himself about carrie

    since it’s his first book (seriously, read the forward)… i happen to have enjoyed it more than any of his other works, so a more “faithful” adaptation I’d be fine with… HOWEVER: 1) De Palma’s version was still maaaaad good; and 2) filmmakers often exaggerate about how “faithful” their adaptations are. They’ll probably make Carrie an male atheist and cast Shia LaBeauf and instead of telekinesis he’ll be able to shoot lazers out of his eyebrows or something and his entire “rampage” will be set in California which looks an awful lot like Vancouver and in the end he’ll wake up in a mental institution and IT WAS ALL A DREAM OMFG

    • What I heard is this…

      Or instead of blood they’ll throw eggs at her (until PETA gets mad), then they’ll throw carrot strips at her (until the vegans get mad) then they’ll hurl slurs at her (until Lady Gaga and the cast of “Glee” get mad) then they’ll “reach out” to her and get her some help for her anorexia caused by the recent tsunami.

      • and then

        in the sequel to the remake of the adaptation…

      • sar-CHASM (AKA: bottomless pit of scorn and derision)

        That…was actually funny. Kudos.

    • ST

      Actually, I believe it’s his 4th novel but the first to be published.

      • meer15

        He wrote “The Long Walk” (my favorite SK story) several years before “Carrie.”

    • Brian

      Am I the only one who finds OMFG to be incredibly offensive?

      • me

        yes

      • rerun

        God likes to bang.

      • Jaded

        No, when you stop to think about it it’s pretty awful!

      • Lettcie

        No.

      • Lynne C

        No, you are not. I hate it too.

      • liz

        No, it’s very offensive.

      • LOL

        I’m sure you’re not, but you’ll all just have to deal. OMFG!!!!

      • Yea…

        OMFG Brian, it so offends me to! “Grape mind’s think alike” as my PawPaw use to say!

      • gavin

        Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

    • Evaline

      I found just what I was ndeeed, and it was entertaining!

  • DTO

    I read somewhere that King was on the fence about CARRIE’s ending until he saw people jump at it. Anyway, I’ve been a little leary of his taste in films since he dissed Kubrick’s THE SHINING and inflicted us with that really bad mini-series of it back in the mid or late ’90s.

    • Dezimarie

      His problem with the Kubrick version (and mine as well) is that it veered so far from the source material. I saw the movie before I read the book (the movie was out before I was born so it was easier to see the movie before reading the book) and I am glad that I did. They are truly two separate entities and I do not consider Kubrick’s version the true “The Shining” movie.

      • Squishmar

        You’ve got to admit, though…that movie had probably the best trailer for any film, ever.

      • JR

        Still doesn’t mean Kubrick’s version isn’t any good. The Shining will always be one of the best horror films out there.

      • Jaded

        The movie is definately awesomely scarey, but it is totally different than the book. The book is one of his best. You just have to enjoy them seperately and know that the movie is NOT like the book.

      • Baco Noir

        I hope you don’t consider the King-authorized mini-series remake the better version. It made an absolutely hash of it. Tony as a floating ghost at the end as Danny graduates from high school (or university, I forget). It was dreadful. Give me the Kubrick any day.

      • liz

        “The Shining” will always be the book that scared the heck out of me the most, but that end scene of “Carrie” the movie-that made me stop breathing for a minute.

      • SG

        Agree – The Shining movie did change the original story a lot. It was still a good movie, though, as was Carrie. Nothing for me, however, is ever better than the books!

      • Kate

        Kubrick made a big point during the filming of “Shining” of saying he was going to make a great film out of a “B novel.” Kubrick simply didn’t respect the novel, and he was set on proving that he could make a “good” horror film from a “bad” book. I do like Kubrick’s “Shining,” but as others here have said, it isn’t King’s story at all. The heart of King’s novel (which I will argue is still his best) is the slow and tragic disintegration of a father who is fighting to hold onto his sanity before the forces that possess him destroy his family. The scene (in the novel) when Jack is chasing Danny with an axe (all the while screaming for the boy to “RUN!”) is devastating to read. All of that was lost in Kubrick’s film, because he cared more for the setting, the music, and the IDEA of ghostly possession to put any real thought into Jack’s character. Niholson plays Jack like a lunatic right from the start — this isn’t a man possessed by demons, but a man who’s just crazy.

      • greg

        Jack wasn’t chasing Danny with an axe it was a roque mallet

      • valhallaarwen

        You are correct about the Kubrick Shining, it is nothing like the book. I too saw the movie before I read the book and I used to like it. Then I read the book and saw the miniseries. I loved the miniseries. But keep this in mind, I took a horror lit class where we read Carrie and I learned there are two ways to read a Stephen King work, one is pure horror, and the other way is a reflection of human problems. Example – Carrie is growing up, poor, going thru changes from a girl to a woman and a psycho mom. Also Carrie is a girl who has esp and going to get back at those who hurt her. If you noticed at the beginning of the book, Carrie is a loner with no friends while Sue it the popular one. At the end, it is reversed with Sue at home alone and Carrie at the prom. As for the Shining, it is a story about an alcoholic and his abuse of his wife and child, which I felt they captured great on the miniseries. Kubrick’s Shining was not King’s Shining.

    • Stephen’s therapist

      Kubrick’s version of the SHINING was absolutely dreadful. And Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the character was every bit as bad as Faye Dunaway’s Joan Crawford.

      • DTO

        Yes, but CGI topiary animals are awful. I’ll take that garden maze and a lot of the other visual spookiness over any of the “scares” on the TV version. Also, Steven Weber is NOT Jack Nicholson, who’s more entertaining in a “bad” performance than Weber is ever. Also, the sentimental ending works fine on the page but induces groans and guffaws on the TV screen, so I was glad Kubrick jettisoned it.

      • AB

        Kubrick’s Shining was dreadful? Really? The best thing about the tv miniseries Shining was the hotel itself. The rest belongs on the scrap heap.

      • anonymous

        Kubrick’s The Shining and Nicholson’s performance are great.

      • NotAmerican

        Um, we seem to all be forgetting that Kubrick is a FRICKIN GENIUS, a god among men (and certainly among directors). Steven King should be imitating that one ex of Marilyn Monroe, and send a dozen roses to Kubrick’s grave every week! The only way you could say anything negative about the Kubrick version was that it wasn’t “faithful” to the source. That’s it. Other than that… geez, has anybody ever read anything about the making of the movie? Making Shelley Duvall do HUNDREDS of takes, isolating her, limiting her amount of sleep and food… all so that he could get the “so scared she’s gone nuts” performance that she would not have otherwise delivered. Insisting that the hundreds of pages of typewritten “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” be actually ALL typed (i.e. – instead of typing up one and mimeographing it). I could go on but trust me – Kubrick did everything humanly possible to make this movie the horrifying event that it was. I mean, I’ve seen literally hundreds of horror movies, but I still consider this one the scariest thing ever made. If you didn’t scream like a little girly-man when those twin girls kept popping up out of nowhere, or when the elevator of blood opened up, or when that lady came out of the bathtub and… transformed… well, you have a stronger constitution than myself, as well as several people I know.

    • Nay

      I’ve been reading King’s work since I was 10. I read The Shining first, and then saw the atrocity that is the movie. Now, I do revisit the film every few years to see if my opinion changes, and it never does. Kubrick singlehandedly ruined that movie by demanding that Jack was over the top crazy from the beginning (Jack could have played it far more subtly, as the book calls for), he casted Shelley Duvall, who may be the most useless actress ever, and whoever played the kid. 66% of the main cast was crap! Total crap! Then he has Halloran killed off! King was right to sh!t all over that movie.

      I prefer the miniseries, actually. While I still hate the kid in there, Rebecca DeMornay made a much better Wendy, and Jack’s descent into insanity was slow and drawn out, much like the book. It’s not the best thing ever, but it beats the pants of Kubrick’s failed attempt.

      • anonymous

        Can just imagine what you think of the animal costume scene in Kubrick’s film !!!
        By the way, the mini series was a snoozefest.

      • SG

        I’ve been reading his books since I was 10, too, and my first was Salems’ Lot. I didn’t even know they did a Shining miniseries (I never whatched any of the cheesy miniseries and It scared me too much so I wouldn’t have watched it no matter what). Salems’ Lot was awesome even though I had to sneek to watch it – I read the book at night with a flashlight!

      • Elle

        I liked Hallaran the most of all the characters so I was very disappointed when I saw how small his role was in the film. He was the heart of the book. He had such a great connection with Danny and that’s part of what I loved about the book. I mean, he had that whole suspenseful story throughout trying to save them. It was chilling in the end. And the book had a happy ending which is so rare in King’s novels. I hated the end of the movie.

  • me

    This is the reason I’ve given up on Hollywood altogether. When is the last time that town created something original? All we get is one stupid remake after another. I know there have to be great scripts out there but Hollywood has gone the reality show route, bypassing good projects for whatever sells. I haven’t been to a movie in a long time and I see no reason to support an industry that insults my intelligence. I just wait for the Netflix and as far as tv goes, I cancelled my cable long ago and watch on You Tube or Hulu for free.

    • check your history

      Come down off your high horse. You do realize The Wizard of Oz was not only a remake, but was the second or third time it had been filmed. There are a number of films that are, by consensus,better than the original. Maltese Falcon remake better, The Man Who Knew too Much remake better, The Thing remake Better, The Fly remake better. I wonder if there was some dude in 1938 saying Why would they want to remake the Wizard of Oz? The first one was awesome and they will just ruin it.

      • Carbon Nine

        Precisely.

      • David

        Inception was original.

        People just like having that cliche line to say.

    • DK

      “Source Code” was original (meaning it was not based on a previous film or print adaptation).

      Gotta love me some Duncan Jones

    • Mary Hazard

      Just saw The King’s Speech. Great movie. Kind of off topic here tho.

  • Karate Pants

    Plug it up! Plug it up! Plug it up!

    • Karate Pants is funny

      My mom’s co-worker and I used to chant this at her office.

    • RyRyNYC

      Above comment for the win!

    • kremzeek!

      ummm,i was eating one of those single cherry popsicles.

    • Ash

      Ha ha ha too funny! I personally have a lot of emotional connection to the book Carrie. I read a lot, but this book has stuck with me through the years, and I still feel gutted thinking of Carrie’s demise, just gutted. I hope the remake captures that sense of dignity and sadness that was Carrie, and conveys the injustice and despair that befalls her with subtlety and finesse. If it’s anything like Carrie 2 I will be baying for blood

      • Jeri

        That was your favorite scene from the book? Mine was the flinging the knives at the mother scene. As someone above said, Piper Laurie played the hell out of that part in the movie. I’m in total agreement with whoever said they didn’t like The Shining. For me it was solely because of Jack Nicholson. And maybe the problem with it is the book was first person POV and there’s no way to film a movie where the best stuff is taking place in someone’s head.

    • Ash

      Plug it up indeed

  • Kim

    They did a TV movie remake in 2002. Angela Bettis as Carrie, Emilie De Raven (Claire from “Lost”) as mean girl Chris. Those are the only actors from it I know.

    • Flip

      It was awful! Let us never speak of it again. Remember Carrie lives at the end? Oy vey!

    • Carla

      Exactly! I remember this Kim!

    • Roland

      Yep! The remake was supposed to have been a pilot for a weekly series. As much as I am a fan of all things “Carrie”, I’m glad that the series was never made.

  • josh

    I agree with all the comments about Hollywood not doing much of anything original anymore,as well as the fact that DePalma’s version was pretty good.However,having said that,I do agree with King that one of the Davids(preferably Cronenberg)should direct it.

  • kremzeek!

    NO MORE REMAKES!!!!!!!!!chrisealmighty.leave the few good movies we have the f*** alone.that’s how lazy and weak hollywood is,some stupid exec says “this is a property with good name recognition,let’s remake it with(insert mediocre actor from some mediocre tv show here),put out a soundtrack,an app and a ringtone,make it pg13 to get the tween demo and let’s think ahead to the blu-ray release…”then they wonder why movie audiences get smaller every year,it’s because no one who isn’t an idiot would pay to see a crap remake of a classic.i already smell fail.

    • anonymous

      I read that the remake count for this spring/summer is 25 or 27 movies. Now that is insane.

  • Yabby

    In the book, Carrie is overweight with really bad acne. Let’s just see how faithful to the text they are.

  • Brett

    “Carrie” was already remade as a TV-movie that ended with the Carrie character alive and leaving town at the end of the film.

  • Danny

    Evan Rachel Wood would make a good Carrie White

    • JR

      No more Evan Rachel Wood please.

  • JPX

    I love Stephen King, but he’s not the best judge of his own work. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining is a masterpiece and it’s amazing that King can’t see that. Does he really prefer the crappy TV remake they did a few years back?

    • DTO

      Exactly.

      • Apos

        I’m with you,JPX.

      • Lillah

        I rlelay needed to find this info, thank God!

    • Tank Girl

      A masterpiece? You’re entitled to your own opinion. But….wow.

      • Kevin

        Every single Kubrick movie (yes, even Eyes Wide Shut) = Masterpiece. It a proven fact, like gravity or evolution.

      • Oh Really?

        @Kevin. Give me and the rest of the world this “proof”.

    • Melissa

      [I love Stephen King, but he’s not the best judge of his own work. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining is a masterpiece and it’s amazing that King can’t see that. Does he really prefer the crappy TV remake they did a few years back?]

      Absolute *worst* adaptation EVER! That P.O.S should never, ever have been made. Kubrick totally ruined the story. It has barely a passing resemblance to the source material.

      • anonymous

        Just had to add … Stephen King directed his own story, Maximum Overdrive, and it was pretty BAD.

    • m.

      Considering how many really bad King adoptions are out there , I don’t think he really cares about the quality of the adoption.

    • Woot

      He didn’t like it because it wasn’t very faithful to the source material. Still, I think the movie is a masterpiece, it just isn’t a triumph in adapting the novel.

    • Mary Hazard

      Unfortunately, when King is involved in the making of any movie, it is generally not good. He likes to go off the deep end. I loved the book Pet Cemetary but couldn’t stand the movie.

      • Jeremy

        Funny, I thought “Pet Sematary” was one of the best movie adaptations; far better than the made-for-TV mini-series that many of his books become.

      • valhallaarwen

        Not true. I love the Stand. That was a great miniseries. I am upset that Ben “Can’t Act” Affleck is going to make a movie out of it.

  • JJ

    I’m not sure why this film would be remade. It’s not so much a “scary” film as it is a “poignant” film. Also, we’re seen the wonderful Patricia Clarkson play Margaret White/Carrie’s Mother in the tv version and she paled in comparison to the, I’ll say it, iconic portrayl from Piper Laurie. Both Spacek and Laurie were nominated for the Academy Award and ending was actually BETTER than the book’s. I just fear that they’ll try to make this a “horror” movie and amp up the gore, violence, etc. Maybe in these days of school bullying they can really make a great movie if they do it right.

    • Ash

      I agree totally with you, poignant encapsulated this story better than horror as a genre. I also hope they emphasize the bullying aspect, most can relate to this, and make the process of her discovering who she is and how to better her life, will be seen as inspirational. Her eventual demise, I hope, will stay with people in a poignant sad way, as it has with me all these years. Lessons to be learnt about compassion here, not just a gory horror!

  • Kathy

    If the remakes copies the ending of the original movie then I shan’t be watching. It still and always will scare the crap outta me.

    • Roland

      LOL! The second time I saw it in a theater, I knew what was coming so I watched the audience. At the final scare, the entire audience jumped out of their chairs as if doing ‘the wave’ at a stadium. Classic!

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