Stephen King: ‘I’m Not Sure’ Why Warner Bros. Is ‘Holding Back’ the ‘Salem’s Lot’ Remake as ‘It’s Quite Good’ and ‘Not Embarrassing or Anything’

Stephen King recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to question why Warner Bros. is holding back its new film adaptation of “Salem’s Lot,” based on King’s 1975 horror novel about a writer who returns to his hometown in Maine and discovers its residents are becoming vampires. The movie went into development back in 2019 and shot in Massachusetts in 2021. A theatrical release was once planned for September 2022, but the movie has yet to see the light of day come 2024.

“Between you and me, Twitter, I’ve seen the new SALEM’S LOT and it’s quite good,” King wrote to his 7.1 million X followers. “Old-school horror filmmaking: slow build, big payoff. Not sure why WB is holding it back; not like it’s embarrassing, or anything. Who knows. I just write the fucking things.”

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King wrote on X/Twitter last year that Warner Bros.’ “Salem’s Lot” remake was “currently shelved,” and he called the movie “muscular and involving.”

“It has the feel of ‘Old Hollywood,’ when a film was given a chance to draw a breath before getting to business,” he added at the time. “When attention spans were longer, in other words.”

Variety reported last year that Warner Bros. was eyeing a release pivot, opting to put the movie directly on streaming service Max instead of in movie theaters. The remake is directed by Gary Dauberman, who has a close relationship to Warner Bros. as the writer of the studio’s “It” movies as well as several “Annabelle” films. He directed 2019’s “Annabelle Comes Home.”

A source with knowledge of the situation told Variety at the time that putting “Salem’s Lot” on Max was not a reflection of the film’s quality but simply due to the fact that the SAG-AFTRA strike created a growing need for Max content. A Warner Bros. spokesperson added at the time, “No decision has been made about the film’s future distribution plans.” Sources now told Variety that a decision still has not been made regarding the release.

Starring “Top Gun: Maverick’s” Lewis Pullman, the remake’s cast also includes Makenzie Leigh, Bill Camp, Pilou Asbaek, Alfre Woodard and William Sadler. Dauberman also wrote the screenplay. James Wan is a producer on the film via his Atomic Monster. Previous adaptations of “Salem’s Lot” include a two-part CBS miniseries in 1979 and a TNT limited series in 2004 starring Rob Lowe.

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