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Stephen King reveals new novel ‘Later’ and approves of ‘Firestarter’ film adaptation

When it comes to horror, the dead never seem to rest. The same goes for the genre’s king.

Only a few months after the release of his last collection of novellas, Stephen King has announced his next novel, titled Later. A statement via Entertainment Weekly revealed the book will follow Jamie Conklin, a boy with unusual abilities who will need to pay a “terrible price” if he wants to help his single mother and her police detective lover.

“I love the Hard Case format, and this story — combining a boy who sees beyond our world and strong elements of crime and suspense — seemed a perfect fit,” King said in the statement.

King shared the novel’s cover art, depicting a stylized scene that could be pulled right out of an old box of ‘50s pulp, on Twitter with the caption “Next year. March.” 

He might be pegged as a horror writer, but King has shown that he’s not restricted by the label. Fans of the macabre itching for a fix have no need worry, though — horror elements are certainly incorporated into Later.

“It’s terrifying, tender, heartbreaking and honest, and we’re so excited to bring it to readers,” said Charles Adai, editor of Hard Case Crime. 

The novel will be King’s third with the publisher, the first two being The Colorado Kid and Joyland

Those looking for an exclusively frightful experience will soon be catered to as well — Later’s reveal came at the same time as fresh details on the new film adaptation of King’s novel Firestarter.

The film’s director Keith Thomas, who also directed The Vigil, sat down with Zavvi to give a window into the Blumhouse project.

“It has everything you would want, people’s heads catching fire and their faces melting off, and a dad and daughter on the run trying to survive being chased in this heightened tense experience,” Thomas said. “We are hoping to film it this year, and it will be a lot of fun.”

Thomas said Firestarter’s screenplay is by Halloween Kills writer Scott Teems. Though the Halloween film has been delayed until next year and has not yet been able to exhibit Teem’s latest writing efforts, fans can rest easy knowing King himself is pumped for the project.

“He watched The Vigil, approved me as director and he read the script from the early stages, and he’s very happy with it,” Thomas said. “He’s excited for it, he’s there the whole way.”

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