Goth Chick News: Death Cars, and Blumhouse, and Stephen King Novels – These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Goth Chick News: Death Cars, and Blumhouse, and Stephen King Novels – These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

If you just sang the title, we can definitely be friends.

There has been Hollywood buzz for more than five years about whether or not a movie version of Stephen King’s 1983 novel Christine would be getting remade. Finally, in June 2021, our favorite horror production company, Blumhouse (The Invisible Man, Black Phone, Insidious), announced they were in, and a script was in development. At that time, King had been on a tear with the success of IT and IT: Chapter 2, not to mention a reboot of Pet Sematary, and by December of that year King was reading over a draft script for a new Christine. However, by February 2022 King was going on the record as saying he had cooled on the idea of a Christine remake.

Christine by Stephen King (The Viking Press, 1983). Cover by Craig DeCamps

Frankly, as much as I enjoy a lot of his work, I firmly believe King needs to stick to writing novels and leave scriptwriting to the professionals. There is literally not even one of his book-to-movie adaptations, in which King was directly involved, which I thought was good. I’m still in therapy for his rave reviews of the movie version of Doctor Sleep, which I deemed an act of violence against the source material. Conversely, King hated Kubrick’s take on The Shining, which is in my top five favs.

Plus, if Blumhouse was driving this project, I really, truly wanted King to just shush and get the heck out of the way. Though remakes can be an excuse for Hollywood to make a buck without exerting much effort, I thought the novel Christine deserved better than the movie adaptation she got.

Thankfully, about six months ago we seemed to have received confirmation that a remake of Christine was definitely happening. John Carpenter, who helmed the original film adaptation which hit theaters in December 1983, gave an interview to Total Film Magazine last September, during which he waxed a bit salty about Christine’s remake writer/director Bryan Fuller’s chances of success.

Carpenter may have been hacking on Fuller’s lack of experience when it comes to feature-length films as Fuller is currently directing his first-ever movie. But while he might not have many cinematic credits, Fuller has some chops when it comes to visually gorgeous and seriously messed-up TV shows.

Having started off as a writer on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, Fuller soon became the showrunner on series such as Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies and Hannibal. He oversaw the first season of Starz’ American Gods (loved it), and he’s currently developing Crystal Lake, a Peacock series set in the world of Friday the 13th. So, it’s not like Fuller hasn’t done scary.

Another potential plus is that Fuller has made it clear he intends to stick closely to King’s storyline. As a huge fan of the novel, I thought Carpenter’s version of Christine cut more corners than it should have.

As you may recall, the basic plot of both the book and the film revolves around a bullied, unpopular teenager named Arnie who purchases a beat-up 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine. The two form a deep, dark bond, causing Arnie to become violent and murderous, especially when Christine becomes jealous of Arnie’s girlfriend, Leigh, and his best bud, Dennis.

However, unlike the book, Carpenter’s film never explains Christine’s evil origins, unless you count the song “Bad to the Bone” playing while we see Christine roll off the assembly line, which was epic in its own right. In King’s novel, Christine is haunted by the soul of her original owner, Roland LeBay, a truly vile individual who holds sway over Arnie. The whole origin story explains a lot, and without this background, some of the movie plot was left hanging.

Christine (Columbia Pictures, 1983)

And before the Carpenter fans come for me, I absolutely loved the original Halloween and The Thing among others. I just think he short-shifted Christine.

In an interview with Fangoria’s The Kingcast, Fuller explained that his version of the film will present Christine as more of “the Overlook [Hotel] on wheels” and focus on the “vampiric relationship between the car and Arnie.” He also explained,

Certainly Roland LaBey has a lot to do in [King’s] story, and he wasn’t even a character in the John Carpenter movie, so I think all of those things, for me, were… why we needed a new adaptation of Christine.

Fuller also mentioned his version of Christine will have a lot of sexual tension between the characters, especially Arnie and Christine. Fuller plans on fulfilling a request from horror author Clive Barker, who told Fuller, “Please just make it clear that he’s f*****g the car.”


Christine currently does not have a release date.

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Rich Horton

I’m glad my ear for prose is working — I read the piece when it was first posted, with John’s name on it, and I thought “That’s not John’s style of writing! And quickly realized it must be Sue, especially with the “Goth Chick” hint!

I completely agree about Carpenter.

Joe H.

It occurs to me that when King wrote the book, Christine (the car) would only have been 25 years old. So a modern remake of the movie should be about a haunted Chrysler Town & Country minivan.

Thomas Parker

Christine is one of the few “first-wave” Kings that I never got around to back when the world was young. Maybe this summer…

And if Barker wants something where someone out-and-out schtups a car, he needs to read J.G. Ballard’s Crash, filmed by David Cronenberg (who else?) in 1996. I’ve had it on video for a few years and have yet to get up the nerve to watch it.

Thomas Parker

I’ll supply the popcorn, you bring the Penzoil.

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