Rob Reiner says the writer was reluctant to have his terror novel turned into a movie
Rob Reiner’s 1990 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Misery has, over the decades, acquired the status of a horror classic. But King was reluctant to allow his tale of a successful writer and his deranged fan become a movie, as Reiner explains in a just-released clip from an interview with the director on Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of the film (out Nov. 28).
“This was a very personal book to Stephen King,” says Reiner, whose other directing credits include 1992’s A Few Good Men and another King adaptation, 1986’s Stand by Me. “It was a book in which he dealt with wrestling with this difficulty that all creative people have, which is being trapped by your own success. Here he was, a writer of horror books, books with supernatural elements to it, and he also wanted to express himself as a writer. So, he had this character, Paul Sheldon, who had become famous writing these Misery novels, but wanted to break away and do something special, and Annie Wilkes represented the fanbase that didn’t want that to happen, would be very angry if he went in a different direction. It was a personal book, oddly enough to him. So, he didn’t want to option it to anybody unless he felt it was in good hands. And because he loved Stand By Me — and he had told me it was the best adaptation of anything that he had ever written — he said, ‘I’ll give it to you guys if Rob will either produce or direct it.’ So, he felt comfortable that I would do it.”
In addition to the interview with Reiner, the Misery Blu-ray features a new 4K restoration of the Kathy Bates- and James Caan-starring film and a new interview with special makeup effects artist (and now Walking Dead executive producer) Greg Nicotero. Vintage bonus extras include separate audio commentaries by Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman.
Watch the trailer for Misery above and that clip from the Reiner interview, below.
The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of Misery is released by Scream Factory, Nov. 28.