Carrie was only the beginning...
There was a time when Stephen King owned Hollywood horror.
As cinema is nothing but cyclical, the 2013 Carrie remake is just the beginning, with Pet Sematary and It reboots perennially buzzing away on the rumour mill.
If/when they happen, we all but guarantee they'll be the first of many. With that in mind, we've decided to indulge in a little creative casting. Join us as we re-cast some of King's most iconic movies with a whole new generation of acting talent…
The Original Cast: James Caan, Kathy Bates.
The Plot: When his car spins off the road in a snowstorm, successful author Paul Sheldon (Caan) is taken in by nurse and fan Annie Wilkes (Bates). With two broken legs and a dislocated shoulder, he's not going anywhere soon.
You'd think that being rescued by a nurse would be a wonderful thing, but there's one tiny problem - she's more than a little bonkers, obsessive and critical of the direction he's taking his career.
With Sheldon in her grasp, she turns to more imaginative methods (CLUE: sledgehammers) to keep him bedbound.
The Remake Cast: It's hard to think of anyone replacing Kathy Bates in the iconic role that won her a Best Actress Oscar, but if they had to opt for a remake, then we heartily suggest Melissa McCarthy.
Not only is she an actress capable of as much drama as black humour (just watch the oddity that is sci-fi indie The Nines ), but we have a sneaking suspicion she could summon a terrifying, brooding passive-aggressive manicness should she push herself into more daring acting waters.
As for the author? How about Casey Affleck, a fresh-faced drama lead easily capable of portraying inner-strength as easily as complex mind gamery.
The Green Mile
The Original Cast: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan.
The Plot: Death Row Corrections Officer Paul Edgecomb (Hanks) tells the extraordinary tale of one very special inmate. John Coffey (Clarke Duncan), convicted of raping and killing two young girls, is shy, introverted and softly-spoken, and seemingly anything but a hardened rapist / killer.
When he begins to manifest some very special, other-worldly abilities, the two form a bond that will change Paul's life forever.
The Remake Cast: Considering Michael Clarke Duncan was nominated for all manner of Supporting Actor awards after his beautiful, tragic turn as John Coffey, it'd take an acting powerhouse to take the reigns.
Step forward Mr Whitaker, a man capable of delivering an imposing physical presence as well as an inner fragility.
As for the everyman tasked with replacing Hanks, then we're opting for Hollywood's leading comic and action man of choice Chris Pratt.
His talents may be proven in the sillier side of Hollywood, but his dramatic chops have been glimpsed in Zero Dark Thirty and Moneyball , and with his star in ascendence (just wait until Guardians Of The Galaxy hits), we have a feeling he'll start looking for weightier roles to sidestep typecasting.
The Original Cast: Jack Nicholson.
The Plot: Writer Jack Torrance (Nicholson) takes a job as an off-season caretaker at in no way creepy, eerily isolated Overlook Hotel *cough*. Before long, his son is badgered by all manner of ghostly presences, courtesy of his pesky psychic abilities.
When a snowstorm hits, and the family are trapped in the hotel, things from from bad to worse to terrifyingly crazy, as Jack becomes influenced by a demonic presence and spirals into madness, and attempts to murder his family.
The Remake Cast: Believe it or not, when The Shining was first released, it was nominated for two Razzie nominations.
Time has since transformed it into a veritable cult and horror classic, with Nicholson's extraordinary performance singled out as one of the craziest and captivating turns in cinematic history.
With that in mind, and Jack Torrance the key driving character behind the whole loopy tale, we think the most charismatic, wiley and chameleonic of modern actors, Benedict Cumberbatch, is a good shout.
The Original Cast: Tim Curry.
The Plot: Because Stephen King is a great horror writer and adept at tapping into our most psychologically scarring of childhood traumas, it was only natural he'd craft a tale in which the antagonist is a demonic killer clown. Well, ish. It's key villain (Curry) is actually an inter-dimensional predatory life-form which is able to morph into the worst fears of whatever it's stalking.
When It targets 'The Losers Club', a gang of young misfits, they're initially ravaged - yet fast-forward to their adult selves, and the gang decide to turn the tables and destroy It forevermore.
The Remake Cast: We can all agree that clowns are, by their very nature, bloody terrifying. But it's Tim Curry's manic, psychotic and utterly chilling portrayal of the evil beastie picking off the kids that truly lingers. For adults of a certain age, their fear of clowns comes not from a collective social trauma. His name be Tim Curry.
If you're looking for a modern actor capable of twisting the screw in all manner of terrifying forms, then Michael Shannon's a good bet - a modern reinterpretation could expand upon the 'evil clown' schitck, and explore other manisfestations, and Shannon has the flexibility and magnetic, squirmingly chilling screen presence to captivate whatever the form.
The Lawnmower Man
The Original Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jeff Fahey.
The Plot: Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Brosnan) takes a scientific shining to Jobe Smith (Fahey), a simple-minded gardener. With a host of decidedly illegal clinical trials up his sleeve, Angelo evolves Smith to far beyond anything he ever imagined. Things get very, very weird.
The Remake Cast: The reality is that while the 1992 sci-fi was certainly inspired by Stephen King's short story, the resulting blockbuster was so different to the original tale (apparently only single scene was related) that King sued the producers for attaching his name to the film.
Still, imaginging they were to go down a similar route (because audiences like nothing better than cosy familiarity), and we'd love to see the 'you've-probably-never-thought-of-putting-them-together' duo of Michael Fassbender and Chris O'Dowd go toe-to-toe on-screen.
Fassbender can summon the good-looking, charming arrogance pf Dr. Angelo with ease, while O'Dowd - who's been increasingly creeping into the wider Hollywood consciousness of late - could nail the simple, loveable and gullible Smith, as well as the accomplished, intelligent and accomplished man he evolves into.
The Original Cast: Ian McKellen, Brad Renfro.
The Plot: When high school student Todd Bowden (Renfro) discovers a fugitive Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander (McKellen) living within his neighbourhood, Bowden - a Nazi/Holocaust obsessive - guilts/persuades/blackmails Dussander into sharing stories from the war. As the two become closer and closer intertwined, they both begin to explore the darker sides of their souls, as well as humanity. In short, things get utterly twisted.
The Remake Cast: Back in 1998, a pre-Magneto, pre-Gandalf Ian McKellen stole the show with his cruel, macabre and utterly hypnotic turn as Dussander. Fast-forward 15 years later, and we still can't think of anyone capable of replacing McKellen. Ergo, at the now-age (in 2013) of 74, we heartily back him to return to the role.
Which just leaves the young, fresh-faced, pliable and pretty darn disturbed ingenue to replace Renfro. Kodi Smit-McPhee ticks all the boxes, having proved his worth in adult drama ( The Road ) and horror ( Let Me In ), he's able to hold his own against bigger, starrier actors, and a morally bleak, complex tale such as Apt Pupil could be the role to help him migrate into on-screen adulthood.