Adapting Stephen King’s Cycle Of The Werewolf: Does 1985’s Silver Bullet Howl Or Merely Whimper?

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In modern cinema, movies have been made inspired by everything from books, to songs, to board games, to theme park rides, but how many films can you name that have origins involving an idea for a calendar? While I can’t swear there isn’t at least one other example, the only one I can personally name is Silver Bullet: the 1985 feature based on Stephen King’s novella/novelette Cycle Of The Werewolf.

The Stephen King Companion by George Beahm traces the whole concept’s roots to 1979 when Land of Enchantment publisher Chris Zavisa approached King in a hotel lobby during Providence, Rhode Island’s World Fantasy Convention. As originally conceived, the author and artist Bernie Wrightson were brought together to work on an illustrated calendar that would include artwork by Wrightson and “a brief text” by the writer for each month of the year (this being a few years before the two men worked together on the comic book adaptation of Creepshow). However, King wound up over-delivering – as he has long been known to do – and rather than producing a series of 12 simple 500-word vignettes he turned in enough material for a book. Eventually contractual issues prevented King from making a calendar with Land Of Enchantment anyway, and with Wrightson’s spectacular and horrific pen-and-ink drawings included, Cycle Of The Werewolf was published as a limited edition hardcover in 1983, and reprinted as a mass market paperback two years later.

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