While most of us are getting geared up for It, Stephen King has quietly taken action to take back the rights to several of his high profile works: The Dead Zone, Cujo, Creepshow, Children of the Corn, Cat’s Eye, and Firestarter.
What this basically means is that from September 1 next year, the current rights owners of these properties will no longer be able to make new works based on the stories such as remakes or sequels, though they’ll still be able to distribute their previously produced works. Any studio wanting to make a new film will have to go through King first and strike a deal. I would say that this is a very shrewd move on King’s part considering the craze for remaking everything at the moment.
However, there is a catch. The termination only affects US rights, meaning that if a studio or someone wanted to make a new film but just release outside of the US, they could do so.
In any case, the currently-in-the-works remakes of Firestarter and Cujo [retitled C.U.J.O. which stands for ‘Canine Unit Joint Operations’] had better hurry up and get a move on.