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Steven Spielberg tried to recruit Stephen King for this horror classic

One of the best directors of all time, Steven Spielberg, wanted to bring Stephen King aboard to work on this horror movie classic. Sadly, it never worked out.

Steven Spielberg's Poltergeist

Steven Spielberg and Stephen King aren’t necessarily two names which immediately go together. Over his long career, Spielberg has only rarely dabbled in horror, while King has defined the horror genre both in the literary world with his novels and on the big screen where adaptations of his work (including The Shining) have become some of the best horror movies of all time.


In reality, the two are actually huge fans of each other’s work. Spielberg has long wanted to adapt a Stephen King novel, and there have been many instances where the pair of Stev(ph)ens have almost combined their talents.

As Entertainment Weekly reports, their closest encounter came with the horror classic Poltergeist, when Spielberg wanted to bring King’s talents aboard to punch up the script.

“I wanted him to help me out with the script and sort of write it with me, but he was unavailable,” Spielberg – who co-wrote and produced Poltergeist – explained.

However, in a pre-internet age King was difficult to get hold of, and the author missed out on the opportunity thanks to some unfortunate timing. “It didn’t work out because it was before the internet and we had a communication breakdown,” revealed King. “I was on a ship going across the Atlantic to En­gland,” and, the horror legend says, by the time he finally got the message it was all too late.

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If King had been successfully recruited, Poltergeist may have ended up being very different. Since the missed opportunity, there have been other instances where the pair have attempted to work together but as of yet nothing has materialized.

Still, there’s plenty of time left and Spielberg is overdue a return to the horror genre. Meanwhile, King’s presence still dominates the space with new Stephen King movies coming thick and fast. The lastest of these is the new movie The Boogeyman.

Check out our The Boogeyman review for more details, or learn about the next King movie with our guide to The Monkey release date. You can also take a look at our picks for the best Steven Spielberg movies, and the best movies of all time.