Stephen King’s Rose Red had auspicious beginnings. According to King, it began life as a potential dream collaboration between him and Steven Spielberg, who wanted to make a haunted house movie that echoed Shirley Jackson’s iconic The Haunting of Hill House. King, an avowed fan of Jackson’s masterpiece, ran with the idea but also wove in the legend of the Winchester Mystery House, a West Coast architectural curiosity suffused with eerie lore. He wrote a feature-length script, but creative differences between King and Spielberg plagued the project and it was eventually shelved.

Spielberg would go on to produce 1999’s reviled The Haunting, while King would rework his script as a TV miniseries, a format that’s served him well over the years. ABC brought back Craig R. Baxley, who helmed the affecting Storm of the Century, and turned the three-part series into event television, commissioning a prequel novel (a diary supposedly written by former matriarch of the Rose Red estate) and borrowing some digital marketing tricks from the team behind The Blair Witch Project.

Despite a critical drubbing, Rose Red was a ratings smash. Several members of The Losers’ Club recall watching it when it first aired and they’ve gathered on today’s episode to revisit the estate’s phantom halls. Join Randall Colburn, Jenn Adams, Ana Marie Cox, and Dan Caffrey as they discuss the series’ impressively bizarre ensemble, its wretched CGI, and the surprise tragedy that nearly derailed production.

Stream the episode below and return next week when the Losers unpack one of Stephen King’s favorite novels: Peter Straub’s 1979 horror epic Ghost Story as one of our Danse Macabre book episodes. For further adventures, join the Losers’ Club over long days and pleasant nights via Apple PodcastsSpotifyRadioPublicAcastGoogle Podcasts, and RSS.

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