Strawberry Spring (1968)
King wrote this story while he was still in college and later compiled it in the 1978 story collection Night Shift. One of his earliest published works, it has all the earmarks of King at his finest: an engrossing plot featuring psychological suspense, a deep sense of nostalgia for a specific time and place, and a complex villain — in this case, a serial killer nicknamed Springheel Jack.
Why it would work: King’s writing throughout this popular story is lush and evocative, just begging for graceful, ever-moodier cinematography that mirrors the story’s encroaching sinister subtext.
The biggest pitfall in adapting “Strawberry Spring” is that the ending, undoubtedly a serious shocker in 1968, would probably be instantly guessed by savvy modern audiences. Still, given audiences’ love for King and his ability to ground his stories in a deep sense of place, this isn’t an insurmountable obstacle, and in the hands of a solid screenwriter, this story could be well-told.