Apt Pupil (Unfinished Stephen King adaptation; 1987)


Apt Pupil
Collection of novellas including Apt Pupil.
Collection of novellas including Apt Pupil.
Status Unfinished & Lost

In 1987, British director Alan Bridges began to film an adaptation of Stephen King's 1982 novella, Apt Pupil about a Todd Bowden, a teenager who realizes that a man who lives in his town is actually a Nazi war criminal named Kurt Dussander. Todd blackmails Dussander into telling him the gory details of the holocaust in exchange for not turning him over to the authorities. Over time, his stories take their toll on Todd, and he eventually turns to murdering homeless men to relieve his nightmares.

Child actor Ricky Schroder played Todd while British actor Nicol Williamson played Dussander. Only about three fourths of the film was completed before the production ran out of money, and Bridges was forced to abandon the film.

The novella was later successfully filmed by Bryan Singer in 1998, starring Brad Renfro as Todd and Ian McKellen as Dussander.

Nothing has been seen or heard of the unfinished film by the public, and its current whereabouts are unknown. It was rumored that some of the screening tapes of the film circulated at a convention in 1987 and 1988, but nothing has surfaced since. Stephen King called what he saw of the film "really good".

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