From a Buick 8 is a horror novel by American superstar author Stephen King. It was first published on September 24, 2002. This is not the first time there has been an intention to bring the book to the silver screen. In 2005 Chesapeake Films announced that George Romero would direct its motion picture adaptation with a script written by Johnathon Schaech and Richard Chizmar. That never materialized. In 2007 Tobe Hooper replaced Romero, but the now deceased filmmaker never got the budget he expected to carry on with the project. Now, Deadline announces that the movie adaptation finally has the green light with a different screenplay and William Brent Bell will be the one in charge to write and direct it.
The novel is a series of recollections by the members of Troop D, a state police barracks in western Pennsylvania. After Curtis Wilcox, a well-liked member of Troop D, is killed by a drunk driver, his son Ned begins to visit the barracks. The cops, the dispatcher and the custodian quickly take a liking to him. The troopers begin telling Ned about the “Buick 8” and its title. It is in some sense a ghost story in the way that the novel is about a group of people telling an old but unsettling tale. And while the Buick 8 is not a traditional ghost, it is indeed not of their world. According to the book sleeve: “From a Buick 8 is a novel about our fascination with deadly things, about our insistence on answers when there are none, about terror and courage in the face of the unknowable“. Allegedly, the title comes from Bob Dylan‘s song “From a Buick 6”.
William Brent Bell is a filmmaker whose career has been mainly center in the genres of horror and mystery. His filmography includes titles as writer and director as Stay Alive (2006), The Devil Inside (2012) and Wer (2013). His latest work to date is the awards nominee The Boy (2016), which is the only one of his movies he hasn’t been part of the writing process. It includes elements of fantasy and thriller as a young girl discovers the dangers of a doll who is in fact alive. Those, on the paper, are good enough credentials for being the chosen one to adapt a Stephen King horror and mystery novel, don’t you think?
This is not the first Stephen King novel where a car has supernatural powers. Many will remember one of the author’s better known novels about a similar subject, where a car was jealous of its owner and murdered everyone who got on the way between the two. The car was named Christine and master of horror John Carpenter was in charge of directing the movie adaptation in 1983, which became one of the key horror titles of that decade.
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