Stephen King’s Carrie propelled him into stardom. Brian DePalma’s 1976 adaptation was critically acclaimed. The newest remake, starring Chloe Grace Moretz is having box office success. But did you know that Carrie White was almost the star of her own TV show?
The story of the show-that-almost-was begins with the little-known but, at the time, highly anticipated TV mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie. This mini-series adaptation was produced and written by Bryan Fuller and starred Angela Bettis as the titular telekinetic Carrie. This TV adaptation of Carrie was actually one of the most hotly awaited shows of the season—Carrie had always been a popular favorite among horror fans, and the TV series promised to be “more faithful” to King’s original work.
The verdict on that aspect was a little murky—the TV series did use a lot more material from the book, including a framework that placed the entire film in a flashback—but there was something that the TV series added which was definitely not in the original novel or 1976 film adaptation. This “something” was the fact that Carrie White, rather than dying in her home (as in the 1976 film) or on the roadside (as in the book) actually lives to tell her story. Or, as the series finale and producer Bryan Fuller indicate, to “help those with similar powers.” In Florida, of course. (If you’re going to run away after a rampage that kills your classmates and your mother, might as well choose somewhere warm!)
Yes, the mini-series adaptation of Carrie was actually intended to be the lead-in for a television series about Carrie White living in Florida and helping people who also have telekinetic or similar psychic powers. The TV series, of course, never happened. Why not? It may boil down to the fact that while the miniseries actually had stellar ratings, the critical and fan reception was not so kind to this adaptation. In addition to radically altering the ending in order to work as a tie-in for a potential series, the writers decided to absolve Carrie of blame during the infamous “prom scene,” by having her go into a source of helpless, but murderous, trance.
Regardless of your feelings on the “trance scandal,” the fact remains—a TV series starring Carrie White as a telekinetic camp counselor was just never meant to be.