Warner Bros. Considers Shifting ‘Salem’s Lot’ Movie to Streaming Amid SAG-AFTRA Strike

salem's lot movie

Warner Bros. Studios is reportedly contemplating a strategic move with its horror film, “Salem’s Lot.” Originally developed for a theatrical release, the Gary Dauberman-directed Stephen King adaptation has spent a year on the shelf. It is now poised to make its debut on the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming platform, Max.

Insiders familiar with the situation insist that this shift isn’t a reflection of the film’s quality but is rather a response to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, which has created a growing demand for content on Max. “Salem’s Lot” is just one of several Warner Bros. films being considered for this transition. However, a Warner Bros. spokesperson maintained, “No decision has been made about the film’s future distribution plans.”

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“Salem’s Lot,” which was filmed in the titular Boston suburb in 2021, was initially intended for a September 2022 release. September had proven successful as a pre-Halloween horror corridor for the studio. Yet, Warner Bros. delayed the film to spring 2023 due to COVID-related postproduction delays. Recently, “Salem’s Lot” quietly disappeared from the release schedule, leading to speculations that it might follow the path of last year’s “Batgirl” as a Warner Bros. Discovery tax write-off.

The cast of “Salem’s Lot” includes Lewis Pullman, known for “Top Gun: Maverick,” along with Makenzie Leigh, Bill Camp, Pilou Asbaek, Alfre Woodard, and William Sadler. Gary Dauberman, who initiated the project in 2019, is both the director and screenwriter. Notably, James Wan is a producer on this new adaptation of “Salem’s Lot” through his Atomic Monster production company, which has been behind Warner Bros. horror hits like the “Conjuring” franchise.

The film’s storyline, reminiscent of the original two-part CBS miniseries from 1979, revolves around a writer returning to his hometown, the fictitious Jerusalem’s Lot, only to discover that he must confront vampires. Stephen King’s novel has been adapted previously in 2004 by TNT, earning an Emmy nomination for its series starring Rob Lowe.

In the past, King’s novels have been box office successes for Warner Bros., with highlights such as the 2017 adaptation of “It,” directed by Andy Muschietti, which earned a staggering $704 million worldwide.

(Originally read on Deadline)

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