Stephen King Sells Rights to Short Story for Just $1

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Stephen King is the master of horror with a heart of gold. The renowned author recently gave the rights to one of his short stories for almost nothing. The story in question is called Stationary Bike and the rights were given to a group of Welsh students who wanted to create a film based on it. Usually it’s not exactly cheap to secure the rights to a Stephen King story but in this case, the students only had to pay $1 for them.

The Story is Part of a Special Program Called Dollar Babies

The lucky teenagers are studying at the Blaenau Gwent Film Academy and seem to be big fans of Stephen King’s work. Aren’t we all? Hence, when one of their latest assignments required that they make a short film, they decided to create something special. The students soon after contacted King with an inquiry regarding the rights to Stationary Bike. To their amazement, a representative of the author replied within 24 hours and gave them the good news. Even more surprising is that they were able to purchase the rights to create a film based on the story for just $1.

Stationary Bike is one of the stories Stephen King fondly refers to as Dollar Babies on his website. Each of the stories found on that page can be adapted into a film but the author doesn’t just give the rights to anyone. Dollar Babies is actually a special project specifically designed for film students. The rights to any of the Dollar Babies can be acquired for $1 but the stories can only be adapted into noncommercial films. Students must also pass an approval process before they are given the rights, which presumably is overseen by Stephen King himself.

Getting in Shape is Not Without Its Dangers

Stationary Bike is the story of Richard Sefkitz, a New Yorker who tries to get in shape by riding (you guessed it) a stationary bike. Committed to his cause, Sefkitz buys a map and plans an imaginary route from his home city all the way to the Canadian border. Sefktiz does start getting in shape after a while, but only physically. Slowly but surely his mental health begins to deteriorate a little every day until he eventually begins to sense a strange presence observing his imaginary rides.

Since this is a Stephen King story, it’s safe to assume that the supernatural elements will become more and more noticeable as Sefkitz approaches his goal. The story is part of Just After Sunset, a collection of Stephen King stories that came out back in 2008. Just After Sunset also includes Harvey’s Dream, Rest Stop, N., Mute, and The Cat from Hell, to name just a few.

The Blaenau Gwent Film Academy students might not have permission to make a commercial movie based on Stationary Bike, but adapting a Stephen King story could be a big step forward for them. Frank Darabont also started his career by doing a similar adaptation and eventually moved on to direct big budget Hollywood movies. His most famous works include The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, which were also based on Stephen King stories.

More Stephen King Adaptations Coming Soon

This is a great time for Stephen King adaptations both big and small. There are currently many movies and TV shows either already in the works or in the planning stages that are based on stories written by King. Some of the most highly anticipated ones include The Dark Tower (a TV series this time), Pet Sematary, It: Chapter Two, and Doctor Sleep, the long-awaited sequel to The Shining. In addition, the second season of Castle Rock is also scheduled to air sometime in 2019.

Dario Pecarov

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