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Don Coscarelli Talks About How He Almost Directed ‘Silver Bullet’

Don Coscarelli Talks About How He Almost Directed ‘Silver Bullet’

It wasn’t until 1985 that we got a film adaption of Stephen King’s 1983 novella Cycle of the Werewolf, illustrated by the late Bernie Wrightson. Silver Bullet was directed by Dan Attias, which starred Corey Haim and Gary Busey.

Did you know that Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli could of ended up helming this classic werewolf flick?

Coscarelli recently took part in an interview on the Post Mortem podcast with Mick Garris, revealing that he came close to directing Cycle of the Werewolf!

Coscarelli explains the outcome:

I worked on a project that I didn’t ultimately direct. It was a Stephen King story… Cycle of the Werewolf. I had made this movie, The Beastmaster. And for some reason this Italian movie producer, Dino De Laurentiis, seized on it that I would be the heir to direct the Conan series. He wanted me to direct Conan part 2. Unfortunately, they gave me a screenplay that… I just didn’t get it at all. And I had just made The Beastmaster… I just couldn’t in good conscience see how I could go to Mexico for months and make another sword and sorcery film without a script that I felt good about. So I turned down Dino De Laurentiis, which… I think it had an affect on him. Cause within a month he came back and he said, ‘I’ve got this Stephen King book, I want you to read it.’ And I read it. The problem was, it wasn’t a book – it was actually a calendar at the time. [The story] was right up my alley.

So there was no screenplay. Stephen [King] was not available to write the screenplay. So I had to do an adaptation of the calendar and turn it into a screenplay. There were major adaptation problems that we were struggling with. One day Stephen came to New York. It was the one time I got to meet him. Such a nice guy. Funny, self effacing. Not what you’d expect. He sat there and listened to me just prattle on [about the issues]. He said, ‘I don’t have time to write it, but I’ll think about it.’ And so King went away. One day I got the word that Stephen had sent some notes. There were three, single spaced pages of notes. He answered every problem. Everything. So we go in to have a meeting with Dino De Laurentiis. He didn’t get it. Didn’t want it.

After that, I ended up leaving the project.

We wonder what kind of film Silver Bullet would have been if Coscarelli ended up directing it?