A horror buff is attempting to break some records by transforming a Stephen King tale that appeared in Playboy magazine into a film.
Willa is a short story from the famed genre writer - who is also responsible for cult classics like The Shining, Cujo and Carrie - and was originally published in the magazine before being included in King's compendium Just After Sunset.
Aspiring filmmaker Warren Duncan is aiming to break the record as the "most-backed Stephen King short film on any crowd-funding platform ever", and has until Friday November 17 to do so through Kickstarter. He needs to secure more than 350 backers to get over the line.
"I just think he's one of the best [horror writers] and that's why he's been around so long," he said.
Willa tells the story of David who awakes on a train platform unable to find his fiancé. The other passengers warn him to look for her in town, but he goes anyway and the rest unfolds in pure Stephen King form of horror.
"I've read everything he's ever written, I've been a fan forever," the filmmaker said. "The first one that got me onto him was the It mini-series back in the day."
Duncan has already managed to secure nearly $50,000 for the project (mostly from fans of King, he said) which ensures all actors and crew will get paid.
He said one of the conditions of making the 20-minute film from the famed author's work was to not profit from the screen adaption, but he is allowed to enter it in as many film festivals as he likes. The finished product might also be used as a "proof of concept" as the basis for a new television series.
This will be the second Stephen King adaption for Duncan, who previously produced the film All That You Love.
Wollongong actress Tahlia Crinis has been cast as "Georgia" in Willa, one of the train passengers sitting on the platform.
"Just being a part of a horror film where there's special effects and that all of that stuff really excites me," she said.
Regardless of records, it's expected the film to be made in the first half of 2024 and released later in the year.
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