There are relatively few novels by Stephen King yet to be filmed, and of those, most have been optioned and are languishing in development hell. Not so Rose Madder, which is so odd that nobody had seemed to want to go near it... until now. The brave souls at production company Palomar Pictures have just picked up Rose Madder as part of a three-film* deal with Grosvenor Park.
King's fantastical 1995 story is part domestic saga, part fairytale and part Greek myth. It involves a woman on the run from her violent husband, who acquires a painting that she can actually go inside. Once through the looking glass she encounters the insane Rose Madder, and undertakes a quest to face down a minotaur in its labyrinth. And then it's back to the real world, where our heroine finds she may be inheriting Rose Madder's mental health issues. And there's some business with a magic tree.
The adaptation is being penned by Naomi Sheridan, whose only previous writing credit seems to be In America, directed by her father Jim. Dolores Claiborne - a similarly atypical King melodrama - made for a solid two-hander for Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh back in the 90s, but with its melding of kitchen-sink and mythical quest, Sheridan will have to work hard to stop Rose Madder from appearing head-spinningly peculiar oncsreen.
Meanwhile on TV, Showtime's series based on King's Under The Dome has finally nabbed a new writer, in the form of Brian K Vaughan. It was previously reported that Smallville's Michael Green had the gig, but that now seems not to be the case.
One of King's trademark, massive, small-town, multi-character stories, Under the Dome involves Maine suburb Chester Mill being suddenly separated from the outside world by an impermeable invisible barrier. Think The Simpsons Movie, but less yellow. Vaughan is clearly the man for this job, since he wrote 39 episodes of Lost. He's also a prolific and respected writer of comics, most notably Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina. And judging by Deadline's picture, he likes to dress as The Spirit.
*The other two are remakes of the 2010 French hesit thriller Joseph And The Girl, and the 2001 Norwegian care-in-the-community comedy Elling.