Thanks to the Stephen King renaissance currently going on in Hollywood (and on various streaming platforms), helming a solid adaptation of one of his stories can be a relatively easy to get some extra eyeballs on your work. According to Mashable, some students at the Blaenau Gwent Film Academy in the U.K. are set to make their own foray into the world of King adaptations by picking up the rights to one of King’s story for the token sum of $1. This is all because of the “Dollar Babies” program on King’s website, which allows film students to pick up the adaptation rights to one of King’s stories for a very low price. King’s The Boogeyman was a staple of that list for a while, but now it’s getting a real adaptation. (No offense to student filmmakers.)
The students at Blaenau Gwent have picked up the rights to Stationary Bike from King’s Just After Sunset collection, and now a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old are developing the story into a useable script. After that, a team of just 30 students will turn it into a film. That story isn’t exactly one of King’s most famous, but it is pretty grounded for a King tale, and should therefore be relatively easy to turn into a movie. It revolves around a man with high cholesterol who decides to start exercising after his doctor metaphorically compares his clogged arteries to workmen trying to clear debris from a road. The man buys a stationary bike (that’s the title!) and tries to get healthier, but then he starts having dreams about the poor working conditions of the little men in his veins. In other words, it’s also kind of a weird one.
After the students finish the short and send King a copy, they’ll start taking it around to film festivals. If you’re a student who would like to try and convince King to hand over one of his Dollar Baby stories to you, the list can be found at this link. It includes a handful of duds, but surely nothing you make will be as bad as the Dark Tower movie.