Den of Geek had a chance to speak with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home. Dauberman makes his debut behind the camera on the film, but has written a number of scripts in the Annabelle/Conjuring universe as well as working on the screenplays for It and It: Chapter Two with director Andy Muschetti.
So it wasn’t exactly a surprise when it was announced back in April that Dauberman and James Wan would produce a film adaptation of another classic Stephen King novel, ‘Salem’s Lot, with Dauberman writing the screenplay. The book, published in 1975, was King’s second novel and took place in a small Maine town that is overrun by vampires.
The bloodsuckers in King’s book, led by an ancient European creature named Barlow, were a far cry from the sexier, more romanticized undead that have infested pop culture for much of the past quarter century, thanks to everything from Interview with the Vampire to Twilight to The Vampire Diaries.
Dauberman tells us his goal with the new version of ‘Salem’s Lot is to make vampires frightening again. “That’s exactly what I said and that’s exactly what I thought,” he exclaims. “Which is why I said, ‘Hey, can we make a movie of this?’ Because we haven’t seen that in a really long time and they should be terrifying, and the novel’s terrifying, and it’s fucking great to work on. I can’t wait to bring it to the big screen, we’ve seen it on the smaller screen and it’s going to be awesome on the big screen.”
‘Salem’s Lot has in fact been adapted twice for television, both times as a two-part, four-hour miniseries, in 1979 for CBS and in 2004 for TNT. Neither one is perfectly faithful to the novel, but these previous iterations do bring up the question of whether the book, which features dozens of characters and subplots, can effectively be translated into a single movie.
When asked if he would entertain the possibility of breaking ‘Salem’s Lot into two movies the way the much longer It was split, Dauberman replies, “(‘Salem’s Lot) does have a lot of characters, but it doesn’t have the organic — It felt very organic to break up in two parts, and this one really doesn’t. I think the cool thing about ‘Salem’s Lot though is there’re so many stories to tell within it.”
Dauberman is working on the script now, although a director, cast and release date all remain unconfirmed for now. Watch for our full interview with Dauberman soon.
Annabelle Comes Home is in theaters now.
Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist and associate editor of Den of Geek. Other current and past outlets include Syfy, United Stations Radio Networks, Fandango, MSN, RollingStone.com and many more. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @donkaye