Celebrate Stephen King's 70th birthday by watching his one movie he thinks deserves a second shot

Stephen King attends a special screening of It on Sept. 6, 2017 in Bangor, Maine. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images for Warner Bros.)

Stephen King has devoted much of his 70 years to giving us nightmares in print and on screen. Among the more than 50 films and TV projects based on his macabre masterpieces have been dozens of critical and commercial hits, including Carrie, The Shining, Stand by Me, Misery, The Dead Zone, Creepshow, The Shawshank Redemption, and the recently released It, which is on the way to becoming the highest-grossing horror film of all time. But not every King-based project has been a smash hit or artistic triumph. To mark his milestone birthday (the author was born Sept. 21, 1947), we thought you’d like to know the one movie adaptation of his that King thinks didn’t get a fair shake.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said with a laugh during a recent interview with Yahoo (you can read the full Q&A here). “There are ones that I don’t understand why they reviewed so badly. I frankly never understood why people didn’t like Cell.” Based on a 2006 novel where a mysterious signal transforms cellphone users into hordes of berserkers, the Tod Williams-directed film, which spent years in development limbo, grossed a meager $780,000 during its limited theatrical run last year and managed only an 10 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But King disagrees with the Tomatometer and believes the film is worth (re)visting.

“To me that was a terrific, eccentric movie with some really eccentric, strange performances in it. John Cusack at his best, and Samuel L. Jackson is terrific. So I would say Cell for sure.”

Watch the trailer for Cell:

Then again, King admits he’s not the best arbiter of cinema. “I’m one of these people where the worst movie I ever saw, I thought it was f–king great! So you know, even things like [1953’s] Robot Monster when I was a kid, I thought, ‘Oh man, that’s great!'”

We also asked King which of his still-unadapted works deserves screen time. “I’d like to see Lisey’s Story done as a TV miniseries or a limited series,” he told us. “That’s one I’ve held onto because that’s one I might try to do myself. I might try to float that … because I’ve always loved that book, and I really thought that I got most of that one. And it’s kind of overlooked. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything in particular that I wish would be done.”

Are you listening, Hollywood? A nice TV deal would be the perfect 70th birthday present.

Watch: Andy Muschietti reveals his plans for an It director’s cut:

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