Johannes Roberts to adapt Stephen King’s Hearts in Atlantis

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

Hearts in Atlantis Anthony Hopkins

If you're not up on the literary works of Stephen King, this one might require a bit of explanation: an adaptation of King's novella HEARTS IN ATLANTIS has been announced, but it's not a remake of the 2001 King-based movie that was called HEARTS IN ATLANTIS and starred Anthony Hopkins and Anton Yelchin.

In 1999, King published Hearts in Atlantis, a collection of two novellas and three short stories, all connected to each other in some way through the presence of different characters. The stories in that collection were Low Men in Yellow Coats, Hearts in Atlantis, Blind Willie, Why We're in Vietnam, and Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling. Although the '01 movie took the title of the collection as its own, it wasn't actually based on the story Hearts in Atlantis, it was based on Low Men in Yellow Coats and Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling.

This new film is directly based on the Hearts in Atlantis story, and will simply be called HEARTS. Johannes Roberts is set to direct from a screenplay he wrote with Ernest Riera.

Set in 1966, “Hearts” is a bittersweet coming-of-age story about a group of college boys and their first time away from home, their obsession and self-destruction, and what it means to be an adult in a world where, in the face of a devastating war no one understands, adults can no longer be trusted.

Poor freshmen, surviving off scholarships and aid packages, become obsessed with the highly addictive – and highly vindictive – card game Hearts and find their world starts to slowly unravel. Their grades begin to fall, and one by one they flunk out at a time when life outside college meant the draft and the jungles of Vietnam.

The story was based on King's own college experiences, and he has given his personal approval to Roberts' adaptation. Roberts had this to say about the project: 

As a teenager, discovering Stephen King's books and their cinematic counterparts was what led me to want to become a filmmaker. The story ‘Hearts in Atlantis’ is my favorite piece of King's writing. Turning this story into a movie had been a lifelong dream."

The character who connects the Low Men in Yellow Coats and Hearts in Atlantis stories is Carol, who was played in the '01 film by Mika Boorem.

The 2001 HEARTS IN ATLANTIS is a great coming-of-age story, and if Roberts' HEARTS can be similarly effective we'll definitely have something good to look forward to here.

Hearts in Atlantis Mika Boorem Anton Yelchin

Source: Variety

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.