stephen king the jaunt

Movies, series and video games… Many of Stephen King's works have received some type of adaptations, except for some cases such as The Jaunt

Horror, science fiction and Stephen King, a recipe for success

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Stephen King is maybe one of the authors with the most adaptations in the world of television and cinema (and even video games, the Half-Life video game is inspired by one of his novels), but, despite this, there are still many of his works that have not made the leap to the big screen. And one of them is The Jaunt or The Expedition, a 1981 story that condenses science fiction and horror in just 20 pages.

In the 24th century, a family hopes to be “teleported” to Mars. The story, light at first, quickly turns dark: The dangers of the “journey” exceed expectations. Once again, King proves himself to be the master of horror, even when it comes to short formats.

The expedition was published in The Twilight Zone magazine in 1981. King, already famous for Carrie, The Shining and The Dance of Death, was only trying to perfect his art with short stories. However, His fame guaranteed the success of any work with his nameand in the meantime, and despite its limited number of pages, The Expedition gained the reputation of being one of the best works ever created by King.

What is Stephen King's The Expedition about?

Stephen King The Jaunt

Stephen King created a story that has a pretty crazy twist

As we mentioned, we will follow the Oates family, who are at the New York space terminal, ready to embark on a two-year business trip to Mars. And through the teleportation method known as “The Jaunt,” the family hopes to reach their destination in an instant.

While they wait their turn, the father, Mark Oates, decides to tell his children the story of the “Jaunt”. The invention began in 1987 with scientist Victor Carune, who accidentally teleported two of his fingers. After several experiments with inanimate objects, Carune decides to try live animals, but they die upon arrival or behave strangely before dying. Oates, upon learning of this, discovers that something happens during the process that affects conscious living creatures.

The first half of the story has a light tone, similar to an underdog story. Oates relates Carune's story with enthusiasm, describing his struggle and eventual success in creating the “Jaunt.” However, The story takes a dark turn when human experimentation is introduced.

Without revealing important details, the second half of the story focuses on a series of disturbing tests and a disturbing endingStephen King's trademark. The story ends abruptlyleaving the reader with a striking image that, if adapted to film, could be as memorable as the photo revealed at the end of The Shining or _Carri_e on prom night.

The expedition explores the dangers and consequences of advanced technology. With an ending that will leave you thinking, this story is proof of Stephen King's talent for creating stories that not only entertain you, but also disturb you.

A short novel perfect for a film adaptation

The Jaunt

Maybe we'll see The Jaunt on some streaming platform sooner than we think

Imagine a science fiction journey in 80 minutes, where the tension catches you and leads you to a shocking ending that will make your blood run cold. The odyssey takes place in a single setting: the Spaceport Central Terminal, a place that comes to life on a modest budget, without losing even a bit of its mysterious atmosphere.

Although, despite the interest that The Expedition arouses, it has not yet reached the screens. In 2015, Andy Muschietti, director of the It remakes – who Stephen King called out for omitting a scene from the book – announced that he was working on a film adaptation. Although his style might be adequate, moves away from the realism and chilling atmosphere that characterize the original story.

In 2021, it was announced that Dave Erickson, co-creator of Fear the Walking Dead, would bring The Expedition to television as a series. But, let's be honest, adapting a 24-page story into a multi-season show seems a bit far-fetched, unless you intend to explore new angles and characters. A viable option would be a miniseries that begins with Mark Oates preparing the teleportation for his family, interspersing flashbacks that narrate the “Jump” tests carried out by Victor Carune and the scientists in the story.

In any case, Stephen King adaptations are a constant, and The Expedition would be no exception. Regardless of the criticism, the film and television versions of his works always generate interest. And this short novel, with its science fiction ideas and its shocking load of terror, has all the ingredients to become a success. It just needs the right filmmaker to bring it to life on screen.

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By Geeke