Some stories seem so strange that a big screen adaptation almost seems to be out of the question. Stephen King’s Rose Madder is one of those stories, but Palomar Pictures is willing to take on the challenge and give it a shot.
King’s Rose Madder came out in 1995 but Hollywood never seemed too eager to tackle that particular work, which blends together the story of domestic violence, fairy tales, and Greek mythology. However, Palomar Pictures has decided to see what they can do with the strange tale as part of a three-film deal with Grosvenor Park, according to Variety. The script is being handled by Naomi Sheridan, who also wrote 2002’s In America.
If you don’t live and breathe King like I do and don’t have a copy of Rose Madder on your shelf, I’ll give you the highlights of the story so you can decide for yourself if this might be something you’d like to see in the theater.
Rose Daniels is married to a guy named Norman that beats her while she’s pregnant, causing her to have a miscarriage. She continues to suffer through the consequences of his short temper for nine more years because she’s afraid he’ll be able to find her if she runs because he’s a cop. When she does finally decide to leave, her concerns are proven correct because Norman does start hunting her.
Meanwhile, in the process of building a new life, Rose acquires a painting of a woman that she calls Rose Madder, because of the dress the woman wears. Rose soon learns that the painting is sort of like a doorway and she can enter the world in the painting. Rose Madder, who doesn’t have the greatest grip on sanity, asks Rose to rescue her baby from an underground labyrinth inhabited by a one-eyed bull called Erinyes (I told you there was Greek mythology involved). The rescue attempt is successful and Rose Madder promises to repay Rose. Eventually Norman catches up to Rose, but the reunion doesn’t go the way he hoped when Rose pulls him into the painting, where Rose Madder deals with him.
The story contains a whole lot of different elements and it could be a jumbled mess when it gets adapted. We’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best. I’ll be honest and confess that, even as a loyal King fan, Rose Madder wasn’t one of my favorite reads so I’m not overly thrilled with the idea of the book being turned into a movie.