New Line Cinema’s planned remake of Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot’ appears to be finally coming together, as there have been a number of recent casting announcements in the past couple of weeks.
Stepping into the role of Ben Mears will be Lewis Pullman (The Strangers: Prey at Night) Mear’s is an author and the lead protagonist of King’s story, who returns home to Jerusalem’s Lot (Salem’s Lot for short) after twenty-five years, with the intention of writing his next book.
Along with Pullman, Makenzie Leigh (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) is also set to appear in the film as Susan Norton, a local resident that Mears quickly develops a romantic relationship with following his return to Jerusalem’s Lot.
Also joining the film will be Bill Camp (The Outsider) in the role of High School English teacher Matt Burke; Spencer Treat Clark (Glass) as Mike Ryerson, a local gravedigger and Alfre Woodard (Annabelle) in the gender-flipped role of Dr. Cody.
The project was originally announced back in April 2019, with James Wan set to produce the newest adaptation of King’s novel, based on a new screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who will also serve as the film’s director.
Dauberman has had a successful run with New Line Cinema in recent years, having written all three ‘Annabelle’ films, as well as 2018’s ‘The Nun’. Dauberman is also credited with writing both installments of the recent ‘IT’ remake, another film based on King’s work.
King’s original novel tells the story of Ben Mears, a writer who returned to his hometown of Jerusalem’s Lot to write a book about the Marsten House, a long-abandoned property once owned by hitman Hubert Marsten and rumored to be haunted.
Upon his return, he learns that the house was recently purchased by Kurt Barlow and his business partner Richard Straker.
Mears, along with the aid of Burke, Doctor Jimmy Cody (renamed Bill Norton in the mini-series), Susan Norton, twelve-year-old Mark Petrie and Catholic Priest Donald Callahan, discover that Barlow is actually a vampire and has been infecting the inhabitants of Jerusalem’s Lot. Together they attempt to put a stop to his nefarious plans.
‘Salem’s Lot’ was originally adapted into a two-part television miniseries that aired part one on Saturday, November 17 and part two on Saturday, November 24, 1979. The series was written by Paul Monash and directed by famed ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ director Tobe Hooper.
A follow-up film titled ‘A Return to Salem’s Lot’ was released in 1987. The film was originally screened at the Cannes Film Festival, before receiving a limited theatrical release. The film was not well received and despite displaying an image of the vampire Kurt Barlow, the character never appeared in the film.
‘Salem’s Lot’ received its first official remake in 2004, with Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation) staring as Ben Mears, along with Donald Sutherland (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and Rutger Hauer (The Hitcher) as Kurt Barlow.
Similar to its predecessor it received a two-part television release. The first episode aired on TNT, on Sunday, June 20, with the second episode airing the following night on Monday, June 21, 2004. This version modernized the series by setting it in the 2000s, as opposed to its original setting of the ’70s.
As more information on this newest installment of King’s vampire tale continues to be announced, HorrorFacts will be sure to report it.