She’s made movies for thirty years, but speaking to Sandy King over the phone from her office in Los Angeles, she still sounds as excited to be on a set as any newbie starting their dream job.
When asked what she does, King laughed. “Oh, that’s a little open-ended,” she said, a smile obvious in her voice as she listed off her resume: president of Storm King Productions; producer for both movies and television productions; head of the Storm King comics division.
And as the wife of famed director John Carpenter (“Halloween”, “Escape from New York”), that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
“We are in previews on a film called “John Carpenter’s Darkchylde” that’s being made–the Randy Queen comic book that was made through the 90’s,” she told
For those not in-the-know, Darkchylde was a popular series in the late 1990’s about a cursed teenager named Ariel Chylde–she became the monsters in her nightmares, then used those changes to fight the forces of darkness that came to attack her town.
Storm King Productions, said King, has been working on the live-action film adaptation for the past two years–shaping it from its original comic book form into something workable for a film audience. “That’s a project in itself,” explained King, “To try to make it true to the lovers of the comic book but handleable as a feature film. And get its mythology straight–get it’s underlying story straight. Getting the roles of that universe happening. In the 90’s, a lot of the comic books were written for their look, and sometimes, they weren’t very consistent on their mythologies.”
That’s something she admits Queen, the creator of the comic book, didn’t nail down. “We [Storm King Productions] spent a lot of time trying to get the roles of the universe, and try and work those into something that didn’t betray the old while making sure the new was vital and fresh.”
She wasn’t joking–King said they already have a star-studded crew working on visual effects: Weta Digital, the company that’s done “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies, will be creating the monsters for the film.
“You get the best of all worlds–that’s the great thing,” said King. As to all worlds, when asked about casting…
“No,” she said, laughing, “Nothing yet. We’re solving all the logistical problems first. When you get the casting, that’s kind of icing on the cake.”
King said there’s no idea yet on when the movie might be released, either–at the moment, there isn’t a studio backing it.
“The way financing with movies goes now is you have to be so far into your craft that you’re ready to shoot before you even go to the studios. Studios are really just distribution arms now–they don’t actually make the pictures anymore,” she said.
However, she did hint that the next six months ‘will be interesting’. In the meantime, King has a comic book of her own to worry about: Asylum.
Originally, she said, it began as the idea for a movie. Describing the concept, King said, “[It is about] a catholic priest with this power to detect true evil, or discern true innocence. And also the ability to take evil within itself and diffuse it.” A sort of Jekyll/Hyde character, she said, that had an ongoing story with visuals that were better suited for a comic book.
Leo Manco–known for Vertigo’s Hellblazer series–is the artist for it. Asylum is currently on issue #4.
Also in the works, said King, is a tv series created by Carpenter: “John Carpenter’s Hell Gate.” She said it will be a ghost story, and they are writing out the whole series, story arc, and all characters before going with it to a network.
“There’s a lot of places lined up that want a John Carpenter series, we wanna be ready to show them exactly what they’ll get,” she said. “There’s all the groundwork that’s being done, which is a lot like bees building big hives. The honey comes later.”
As for King herself, who was a painter (and animator) until she became fully committed to live-action, every day working in the field is living the dream.
“I don’t know if it’s funny or pathetic,” she laughed, “It’s just life. It’s a great gig! Everybody should be able to do something they really love, whether it’s making shoes or making movies. I think it’s a great job–I loved when I was just a crew person working a set…I still love working a set. I’m grateful to have the opportunity.”
For more information on Storm King Productions and their projects, you can visit their website.