In further proof that Stephen King is, indeed, a very cool guy, the famous author gave teen film students the rights to his story for just $1.
The group of young filmmakers bought the rights to King’s short story “Stationary Bike,” an unnerving tale about an author who starts cycling after he’s told he has dangerously high cholesterol. As he becomes increasingly obsessed with working out, he begins to hallucinate horrifying scenarios.
The film students wrote to King directly to ask for the rights as part of his “Dollar Baby” contracts, a program the author has run since 1977, where aspiring filmmakers can have a shot at purchasing the rights to his stories for the price of McDonald’s french fries. Filmmaker Frank Darabont won the rights to King’s story “The Woman in the Room” in 1986, and the collaboration led to Darabont working on The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.
16-year-old Alfie Evans and fellow student Cerys Cliff, students from Blaenau Gwent Film Academy in Wales, will write the script for the 2003 King short story. The film can’t be released commercially, due to the nature of the agreement, but DVD copies will go to King’s estate.
“Being given an opportunity to bring one of Stephen King’s novels to life is crazy,” Evans told BBC.
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