Salem’s Lot: James Wan and It Screenwriter Team Up for Stephen King Adaptation

Salem's Lot, one of Stephen King's best novels, is finally getting a big screen adaptation.

Reggie Nalder in 'Salem's Lot (1979)
Photo: CBS

Yet another Stephen King novel has been tapped for a modern adaptation as It screenwriter Gary Dauberman is set to pen an adaptation of Stephen King’s classic vampire novel, Salem’s Lot

What’s really catching everyone’s attention, though, is the fact that James Wan is producing the film alongside Roy Lee and Mark Wolper. As of this writing, none of the people officially involved with the project have been signed on to direct. However, there have been loose rumors for quite some time now that Wan is interested in directing a Salem’s Lot movie. 

While it’s a little strange that Wan wouldn’t be named as the director at this time if that was the studio’s plans, it’s not impossible that he could agree to direct at a later date. The only upcoming film that he’s set to direct is Aquaman 2, and that isn’t expected to come out until at least 2022. As for Dauberman, he only has one directing credit to his name (the upcoming Annabelle Comes Home), so it’s also possible that the studio is waiting to see how that film does before moving forward with their search for a director. 

As you’ve probably gathered, production on Salem’s Lot has only recently begun. That means that you shouldn’t expect to see it hit the big screen for quite some time. 

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Regardless of its release date, we welcome this adaptation. For those who are unfamiliar with the original story, Salem’s Lot tells the story of a writer (go figure) named Ben Mears who returns to the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine (go figure). Not long after his arrival, people in the town begin disappearing or dying mysterious deaths. By the time that the surviving residents of the small town begin to understand what’s happening, they’re already surrounded by a small army of vampires. 

Despite only being King’s second published novel, Salem’s Lot is considered by many to be one of his scariest, tightest, and most thrilling stories. It’s been adapted twice before (once as a 1979 made-for-TV movie directed by Tobe Hooper and once in 2004 as a miniseries starring Rob Lowe). The results of both adaptations were…mixed (the 1979 version is certainly worth a watch), which leaves this upcoming adaptation with plenty of room to create the definitive version of this King classic. 

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014