The Regulators: Stephen King’s Desperation companion piece gets film adaptation

On September 24, 1996 there were two Stephen King novels published. One was Desperation, which would go on to get a TV movie adaptation from director Mick Garris. The other was a “mirror novel” companion piece called The Regulators, published under King’s Richard Bachman pen name. And now, Deadline reports, The Regulators is getting a film adaptation from Bohemia Group. George Cowan has written the screenplay, which has already been given King’s stamp of approval.

Wikipedia explains the Desperation / The Regulators connection: “The two novels represent parallel universes relative to one another, and most of the characters present in one novel’s world also exist in the other novel’s reality, albeit in different circumstances. Additionally, the hardcover first editions of each novel, if set side by side, make a complete painting, and on the back of each cover is also a peek at the opposite’s cover.

The Regulators tells the story of

the peaceful suburban life on Poplar Street in Wentworth, Ohio that is shattered one fine day when four vans containing shotgun-wielding “regulators” terrorize the street’s residents, cold-bloodedly killing anyone foolish enough to venture outdoors. Houses mysteriously transform into log cabins and the street now ends in what looks like a child’s hand-drawn western landscape. Masterminding this sudden onslaught is an evil creature who has taken over the body of an autistic boy whose parents were killed in a drive-by shooting several months earlier.

Bohemia Group’s Executive Vice-President, producer Justin Ross, developed the script with Cowan. King provided the following statement:

I’m delighted that the excitement of The Regulators is coming to the screen. This is going to be good.”

Bohemia Group’s CEO Susan Ferris added:

We could not be more thrilled than to be working with the prolific Stephen King and his team on this project. The novel’s themes and characters resonate so powerfully, and we are looking forward to making an incredible film.”

And Ross had this to say:

Working with Stephen King is a long-time wish fulfilled. Susan and George and I look forward to doing the novel and its author proud.”

This announcement reminds me that I never got around to finishing The Regulators because the mirror novel concept caused me to compare it to Desperation too much. I read Desperation and loved it, and when I started The Regulators I was so disappointed by its story and presentation of the Desperation characters that I set it aside and never went back to it. But I will one of these days, 26 years later.

Are you glad to hear The Regulators is getting a cinematic adaptation? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.

The Regulators Stephen King Richard Bachman

Source: Deadline

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.