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Daredevil Corey Feldman (back to camera) wants to dodge the approaching train, but his friends River Phoenix (l.), Wil Wheaton (center) and Jerry O'Connell (r.) try to dissuade him. Columbia Pictures' "STAND BY ME," based on the novella, "The Body," by Stephen King, was directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay by Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans, and produced by Andrew Scheinman, along with Evans and Gideon.
Celebrated popular author Stephen King's novella, "The Body," first published in 1982 as part of the collection, "Different Seasons," is the basis for Columbia Pictures' "Stand By Me." With its distinctively autobiographical feeling, the story explores a two-day adventure made by a budding young writer and his three friends as they go in search of the body of a missing youth. Starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell and Kiefer Sutherland, and also starring Richard Dreyfuss as The Writer, the film was directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay by Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans. Andrew Scheinman, Evans and Gideon served as producers.
King grew up in a small town much like the fictionalized Castle Rock where "Stand By Me" is set. Born in Portland, Maine, the writer spent a large part of his youth in Durham, where he attended a one-room school with four other children. Later, receiving a scholarship to attend the University of Maine, he earned a bachelor's degree in English. While attending school, King met his wife Tabitha in the university library, and upon graduation in 1970, they married.
It was during his college career that King began writing and selling horror stories, mostly to mass-market men's magazines. Those first short story sales paid him $35 each. His first four novels were rejected by publishers. In 1974, the Kings were living in a rented trailer propped up on cinder blocks. King was working in a laundromat, earning $1.75 per hour. "I had just gotten a raise," King remembers. He got an idea to write a story about machinery out to get its makers. The resultant "Trucks" yielded $250. Recalls King, "The check came just in time to repair the Buick that had just coughed up its transmission. Just another machine out to get me."
Three months later, he received a $2,000 advance from Doubleday and Company for the hardcover rights to one of his novels. "Carrie" would become the first of King's works to reach the motion picture screen.
Other films adapted from King's work include "The Shining," "Christine," "The Dead Zone," "Cujo," "Firestarter," "Children of the Corn" and "Cat's Eye." In addition to writing the screenplays for "Cat's Eye" and "Silver Bullet," he also wrote the original screenplay for "Creepshow." Recently, the author turned film director for "Maximum Overdrive," a big-screen adaptation of his original short story, "Trucks," and options have been taken on at least four other novels to be made into movies.
Stephen King fans were recently surprised to learn that the author had written five novels under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman. Those works are now enjoying another life in print under the King name.
During the course of his career, King has published over 75 short stories, many which appeared in the "Night Shift" anthology. Some of his earliest works appear in the best-selling anthology "Skeleton Crew," published in 1985. Even though King has embarked on another facet of his career, the prolific writer is not prepared to abandon his writing for directing. Even while making his directorial debut on "Maximum Overdrive," the energetic King found time to work on yet another novel.
Columbia Pictures presents an Act III Production of a Rob Reiner Film, "Stand By Me," starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell and Kiefer Sutherland, and also starring Richard Dreyfuss as The Writer. Directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay by Reynold Gideon & Bruce A. Evans, based upon the novella, "The Body," by Stephen King, the film was produced by Andrew Scheinman, Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon. Music is by Jack Nitzsche.