Carrie, the famous red-haired girl with telekinetic powers, will live to destroy another prom again. Another adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel and his first big hit is in the works, but this time, it’s for television. FX is planning a miniseries based on the novel, which has already been adapted for film twice and once for television.
The FX Reboot
Collider learned of the new series, which doesn’t have a script, cast, or any of that jazz yet. It’s in very early stages. What Collider did learn, however, is that it likely won’t star a pale, redhead teenage girl this time. They want Carrie White played by a trans actor or an actor of color. We’ve already seen the role played multiple times by cisgender white women, so the change is a welcomed creative choice.
The world is unquestionably more horrifying for trans people and women of color, and considering the original story is about bullying, that casting idea fits Carrie like a glove. It makes a whole lot of thematic sense. FX and MGM TV declined to comment on the series or casting.
The Previous Carrie Adaptations
The most famous adaptation is Brian De Palma’s 1976 horror film starring Sissy Spacek. It’s the definitive take on Carrie and a groundbreaking horror movie. De Palma’s film was the first of its kind, with his sensibilities serving as a perfect match to King. They’re pitch dark storytellers, and the result of their two minds melding in the film is spectacular. In 1999, The Rage: Carrie 2 underwhelmed fans. It’s not talked about often for a reason.
A few years later, Bryan Fuller of Hannibal and Pushing Daisies fame put his spin on King’s material with a 2002 TV movie. It wasn’t well-received and criticized for bringing little new to the table. NBC’s TV movied lacked the imagination Fuller later displayed in his work in television. The most frustrating adaptation, though, was acclaimed director Kimberly Pierce’s (Boys Don’t Cry) take on the material.
It’s a well-acted and very polished studio remake, but it never reached its full potential. The studio cut Pierce’s vision to bits, removing over 30 minutes of footage and changing the ending entirely. The finished film wasn’t what she imagined or intended, but overall, it’s a respectable adaptation.
A More Faithful Adaptation?
Perhaps King’s short novel, which is the perfect getaway story for anyone who hasn’t read a King book in their life, will flourish again as a miniseries. Perhaps the miniseries can finally include the book’s interviews with people from the town of Chamberlain.
At the end of the book, Carrie White doesn’t only destroy a prom but basically the whole town. It’s mass chaos with a high body count. It’s very expensive to produce on film, but throughout the book, people from the town to describe what happened in detail. With the length of a miniseries, perhaps FX can finally show that crucial part of the book.
The World Needs More King
There’s always room for more interpretations, and in the case of Carrie, that story remains troublingly relevant today. It’s a story about the horrors of bullying, and sadly, that story will never grow old or irrelevant.
FX’s planned miniseries comes after several King adaptations this year, including the spectacular Doctor Sleep, the underwhelming It: Chapter Two, and Netflix’s In the Tall Grass. For my fellow Kingheads, the years ahead are promising for us.
There’s no shortage of adaptations of his books in the making after the mega success of It, which kicked off this King renaissance. Over the next few years, we may see adaptations of “The Long Walk,” “Firestarter,” “Salem’s Lot,” and “Tommyknockers,” to name a few.