Stephen King Movie ‘Salem’s Lot’ Moves from Theatrical to Max

The fate of New Line’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot has been sealed.

New Line parent company Warner Bros. Discovery will debut the vampire thriller on the streaming service Max later this year, the company said Tuesday.

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No date was given, but sources believe a fourth quarter release is likely.

Veteran horror scribe Gary Dauberman, known for writing the It and Annabelle films and for helming Annabelle Comes Home, wrote and directed the movie whose distribution plans have been in flux since WarnerMedia, which owned New Line and Warner Bros., merged with Discovery Inc. in spring of 2022. The movie was originally due to hit theaters in September 2022; then after the merger, it was moved to April 2023. Later, it was taken off the theatrical release schedule completely.

Some worried that the same fate that befell Batgirl and Coyote vs Acme awaited Salem’s. Those two movies were also caught up in the merger and were infamously shelved. Batgirl had “funeral screenings” on the lot before WBD took a tax write-off. Coyote’s final fate remains unclear as the company tried to sell the animation/live-action hybrid but did not find what it deemed the right offer. Filmmakers and fans have cried foul over the treatment of those movies.

King, who wrote his book in the mid-1970s and whose adaptations have made billions for Hollywood over the decades, may have forced Warners to make a decision.

“Between you and me, Twitter, I’ve seen the new SALEM’S LOT and it’s quite good,” the author wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, February 19. “Old-school horror filmmaking: slow build, big payoff. Not sure why WB is holding it back; not like it’s embarrassing, or anything. Who knows. I just write the fucking things.”

The book centered on an author who returns to his hometown only to discover townspeople are slowly being turned into vampires.

Lewis Pullman stars as the author, and the cast also includes Makenzie Leigh, Alfre Woodard, John Benjamin Hickey, Bill Camp, Jordan Preston Carter and Pilou Asbaek.

James Wan, Michael Clear, Roy Lee and Mark Wolper produced the movie.

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