Stephen King sells rights to story for US$1

LONDON • In most people's books, a dollar does not go a long way now.

But for the students of a Welsh movie academy, that sum has landed them a windfall, after horror king Stephen King sold them the rights to a story of his for just US$1 (S$1.38).

The students from Blaenau Gwent Film Academy will now be able to pen the next chapter in their learning, working on a script for the story called Stationary Bike.

The story - which comes from a King collection called Just After Sunset (2008) - is about a man on a journey to tackle his high cholesterol by exercising on a stationary bike in the basement of his apartment.

But in King's world, the road is never straight ahead and the character thinks he is being followed on his daily rides.

The Guardian reported that Mr Kevin Phillips of Green Valley Film Productions, who will shoot the movie, said King's office responded within 24 hours of the students writing to the author to explore possibilities.

"They were fantastic," Mr Phillips said. "Within a few days, the contract was signed and we sent off an actual dollar to the US."

As part of the deal, the film cannot be released in cinemas, though it can be showcased in festivals.

King also asked for a copy.

Another moviemaker who got an early lift in his career is Frank Darabont, who bought the rights to King's The Woman In The Room for a pittance in 1986.

He was then 20 and went on to helm The Green Mile (1999) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994), both adapted from King's novels.

Meanwhile, fans of King who prefer to get their kicks from reading instead will get that lift when he releases his newest novel, Elevation, on Tuesday - a day before Halloween. No trick here, it is his treat.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2018, with the headline 'Stephen King sells rights to story for US$1'. Print Edition | Subscribe