If you’re a Stephen King fan, you might be tuning in to watch Haven on SyFy last night. If you aren’t a King fan and are going to watch, you probably didn’t know that Haven is based off one of Stephen King’s novels. The novel is one of his smaller ones, actually — it has nowhere near the recognition of King’s other recent works, like Duma Key or Under the Dome. It’s a little novel called The Colorado Kid, and it originally didn’t have anything supernatural about it. That’s what made it one of King’s more unique works — unlike his other works, which included everything from parallel worlds to aliens to living cars, The Colorado Kid was a straight crime novel — no monsters, no supernatural, nothing. Haven is just the opposite.
So what caused the change in the content of The Colorado Kid to Haven?
Because Stephen King wanted it that way.
The author likes to keep track of adaptations of his work — he had a bad experience with the Jack Nicholson film The Shining, and so he generally likes to have a little bit of a say. And, since he’s Stephen King, the people doing the adaptations let him.
So when King read over the first draft of the pilot script, which stayed true to the book, he surprised everyone involved. “When King read it, the first thing he said was, ‘Where’s the supernatural element?'” writer Sam Ernst told Digital Spy. “Initially, our idea was to stay close to the book. So it had no supernatural element.”
The writers did some heavy rewrites, finally pleasing King with the script’s final incarnation. “Each week, we meet someone new with a supernatural affliction,” said Ernst. After all, it had to fit in over at SyFy, right?
The Colorado Kid isn’t the only King novel making the jump to television. King has previously indicated that his 2009 tome Under the Dome will be made into an HBO miniseries.
Haven premieres July 9 on SyFy.