In recent, separate interviews, Steven Spielberg and Stephen King reveal that they have come close to working together many times in the past several years. Spielberg originally wanted King to help him write Poltergeist, but it didn't work out in the end. Looking at the prolific careers of both men, it's pretty astonishing that they haven't collaborated, especially since they both seem like they've wanted to for decades. Steven Spielberg still holds out hope that he'll put out Stephen King's The Talisman at some point in the near future, whether he's directing or not.
While discussing the few times that Steven Spielberg and Stephen King have nearly collaborated, they both brought up 1982's Poltergeist. Spielberg revealed that he wanted to write the script with King and even sent him a letter. Since there was no internet back in those days, the letter took a while to get to the author since he was on a ship crossing the Atlantic to England. Spielberg explains.
"It didn't work out because it was before the internet and we had a communication breakdown... Yeah, I wanted him to help me out with the script and sort of write it with me, but he was unavailable."
While Steven Spielberg and Stephen King didn't work on Poltergeist, it would've been a very interesting pairing to say the least. One can't help but wonder how the iconic movie would have ended up had the two Stevens ended up collaborating on the script. It's hard to imagine the movie getting any darker, but if anybody could've accomplished that, it's Stephen King.
Steven Spielberg next became very interested in Stephen King's The Talisman, which he co-wrote with Peter Straub. Spielberg even had Universal buy the rights for the story before the book was even published, back in 1982 (the book didn't come out until 1984). King recalls that Spielberg got into the story before it was even finished, while it was still a work in progress. As previously noted, Steven Spielberg still hopes to put out the project at some point. He had this to say.
"I've owned the book since '82, and I'm hoping to get this movie made in the next couple of years. I'm not committing to the project as a director, I'm just saying that it's something that I've wanted to see come to theaters for the last 35 years."
Steven Spielberg and Stephen King have come close to working together over the years, and they still might actually do it someday. And although they haven't worked together, many have taken what the two Stevens have done over the years and put them together. Like Netflix's Stranger Things or even Ernest Cline's Ready Player One novel, which Spielberg ended up directing. Even if the two never end up collaborating, they have influenced countless others who have taken their ideas and put them together on their own. You can read more about Steven Spielberg and Stephen King's relationship over at Entertainment Weekly.