For those anxiously awaiting the release of It: Chapter 2, there’s another, more exciting Stephen King adaptation coming. The short story called “Stationary Bike” will be turned into a film by Alfie Evans and Cerys Cliff. But unlike It: Chapter 2, these screenwriters/directors are 16-years-old and 14-years-old respectively. They also got the film rights from King for only $1 dollar.
Last week, students at Blaenau Gwent Film Academy in Wales, UK were granted film rights to “Stationary Bike,” as part of a longstanding Stephen King program called “Dollar Babies,” in which he grants rights to a ton of his writing that hasn’t already been optioned by big film studios. Also, it turns out that the Blaenau Gwent Film Academy acquisition of this short story is far from the first time King has given away film rights for practically nothing. In fact, in 1983 director Frank Darabont purchased the rights to the King short story “The Woman in the Room,” for $1 dollar. After that, Darabont eventually adapted another King novella — Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption — which eventually became the famous 1994 film, The Shawshank Redemption.
So, high-school aged students, Evans and Cliff aren’t just making a movie as a charity project from Stephen King. His Dollar Babies commitment could actually help launch these kids into an actual career in filmmaking. The master of horror writing is clearly a great friend to not only children but their future creative endeavors. Even if he does scare the hell out of them.
The students at Blaenau Gwent Film Academy report they hope to have the film version of “Stationary Bike” completed in March or April of 2019. As stipulated by their contract, they will send a DVD version of the movie directly to the author himself.
The short story “Stationary Bike” can be found in King’s collection Just After Sunset, which you can buy right here.