February 21, 2024

Between movies, television and some video games, there is a sea Stephen King there are adaptations for fan consumption, but some of his work has yet to be removed from the page. One of them is his 1981 short story, “The Jaunt.” This sci-fi horror story packs a ridiculous amount of meat into over 20 pages. It chronicles the invention of teleportation, referred to as “Jaunting,” told from the perspective of a 24th-century family. Go on a business trip to Mars. In the beginning, King- ‘s short story plays casually, but as things unfold, it becomes clear that the dangers of Jaunting are much greater than expected. Full King novels are one thing, but “The Jaunt.” “Proves that old Steve can be a scary story even when paired with a simple short. If his untapped work is brimming with potential, you’re looking right here.

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“The Jaunt” was originally published in The Twilight Zone Magazine in 1981 King deepened his career writing successful horror novels, drawing from a vast array of instant classics such as Carrie, shineand stand, to name a few. Despite being a worldwide phenomenon, King continued to hone his craft by writing short stories that would be published in magazines. With how popular his works were becoming, any property with the name Stephen King on the cover, poster or tagline was sure to rake in a ton of money. This meant that these stories would have a temporary life in magazines, and would then be republished in massive short story collections, as in his 70s. Night Shift “The Jaunt” would finally be collected in 1985 Skeleton Crewstep gave this story a life of its own, growing its reputation as one of King’s best.

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Story of “The Jaunt.”

The Jaunt, a story by Stephen King, cover image.

The story begins with Mark Oates and his family sitting in New York’s Port Authority Terminal as they wait to board a two-year business trip to Mars. Oates’ children are curious about how Jaunt came to be, so until the Jaunting service comes to teleport him and his family away, Oates tells his children the story of his invention. The process was originally created in 1987 when a scientist named Victor Carune accidentally teleported two of his fingers. He would try to teleport various other objects. Inanimate objects proved to teleport successfully, but still, whenever a mouse or goldfish passed through the other side, it would be either dead on arrival, or acting strangely shortly before it died. Eventually, Oates’ attention is drawn to the fact that something was going to happen during the teleportation that caused sentient beings to die, making it even clearer why all of his inanimate tests had gone without problems.

In the first half of the story, “The Jaunt” has a similar tone to other weak stories. At first it’s fun for Oates, as he tells his children about Victor Carune’s teleportation, an exciting little sci-fi story about a lonely scientist who invents what would be the most important and efficient means of teleportation in history. It’s only when the story gets into human experimentation that “The Jaunt” begins to take on more of King’s brilliance. Without going into spoiler territory, the second half actually transitions from seeing some nerve-wracking tests to one of the most disturbing endings King has to offer. “The Jaunt” goes out with a bang. If it was eventually made into a movie, that sucker would have an awesome finale that, if done right, would surely stick with the audience as the picture at the end shows. shine, or Carrie in the midst of her destruction on prom night. All that to say, it would take a true master to conjure up an image that matches what King puts in readers’ minds after reading this short story.

The kind of cinema that audiences could expect

Losers Club watching the movie in the basement of 'It'.

If any of King’s short stories are perfect for film adaptation, this is it. It’s easy to imagine “The Jaunt” as a tight 80-minute sci-fi thriller with a knockout ending that quickly turns into a heart-pounding horror thriller. Better yet, half the story is told in one location, New York’s Port Authority Terminal, a set that could have been designed for a bigger budget, but would perhaps be more effectively done on a lower or medium budget. It is quite a Cronenbergian story, more than once similar to its remake The flyso it would be fun to see David tackle this adaptation after he returns to horror in 2022. Future crimes. It can be a perfect foundation for his son Brandon Cronenberga filmmaker who has released three low-budget sci-fi horror films, including this year’s Infinity Pool. It is also attractive to think of such people Duncan Jones, Shane Carruthand Ryan Johnson Taking “The Jaunt”. movies like moon, Firstand Looper these are the kinds of small-scale sci-fi that this adaptation would fit right in with.

While we haven’t seen this yet Skeleton Crew bits still make their way to the screens, it’s not like an attempt hasn’t been made. In 2015, this was announced Andy Muschiettithe director behind the last two installments It, was working on a film adaptation. While that would have been interesting, his style is a bit more heightened and rebellious, better suited to a story that isn’t as realistically chilling as this one. Surely he made the right decision to work It, as its two adaptations collectively grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. Recently, in 2021, this was announced Dave Ericksonco-creator Fear the Walking Dead, would lead to “The Jaunt” as a TV series. I find it a strange move to adapt a 24-page story into an entire TV show spanning multiple seasons, unless their intent is to faithfully bring the source material to life. It could work as a miniseries, with each episode starting with Mark Oates setting up the next step in inventing teleportation for his family, followed by 20-40 minutes of flashbacks as Victor Carune and the scientists who followed perform the short story’s progressive Jaunt tests. . Let’s hope they take the path of the miniseries!

There have been many adaptations of Stephen King. Regardless of whether they are critically considered “good” or “bad,” the film and television versions of his works are almost always entertaining. This is almost a certainty for “The Jaunt” as well, a story full of fun sci-fi ideas and amazing horror set pieces. Let’s hope that the right filmmaker will finally come along and bring this one to life.

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