Movie Reviews

Stephen King's Most Infamous Adaptation Gets Glowing Reflection From Giancarlo Esposito


  • Giancarlo Esposito praised Stephen King’s
    Maximum Overdrive
    despite its critical failure.
  • Esposito believes King could have had a successful directing career if he continued making horror movies.
  • A potential
    Maximum Overdrive
    remake could redeem the concept with a more serious tone and global impact.

Giancarlo Esposito has offered a glowing review for horror author Stephen King’s most infamous adaptation, Maximum Overdrive, while positively reflecting on his time working on the film. Maximum Overdrive was King’s only director credit, a horror movie loosely based on his 1978 short story “Trucks” about a comet making all machines on Earth sentient. The film has been ridiculed as one of King’s worst adaptations ever, with the author never directing another movie after its critical failure.

However, speaking with CinemaBlend, Esposito had nothing but good things to say about Maximum Overdrive, reflecting on both the movie itself and his role in the film. The actor explained how he truly believed King could have been a well-remembered director if he’d kept up with it, while discussing how inspiring it was to have a part to play in the movie. Check out what Esposito had to say below:

Oh my goodness. I mean, I thought Stephen was brilliant in directing that film and thought he would have a long career as a director. He’s prolific as a writer of course, and [I] love what he writes. But that film had… he was really good with the team of artisans who were making it. You know, art department, transpo in that movie was very, very important. Moving parts of lawnmowers and trucks. And, you know, ‘Milli Estevez of course, in that movie as well. And me at that pinball machine, ‘Your Mama!’ [Laugh] And that pinball machine is not acting right. It was a great honor to be there and work with him. And I’m a huge Stephen King fan.

Esposito portrayed Videoplayer in
Maximum Overdrive.

Can Maximum Overdrive Be Redeemed In Retrospect?

The Movie Had Some Interesting Ideas

Esposito’s positive comments about Maximum Overdrive are rare, with many believing it to be the worst project the author has ever been attached to. The concept itself wasn’t anything new, with King books about killer cars ranging from the novel Christine to the short story “Riding the Bullet.” However, it’s undeniable that the movie’s setup was unique, turning not just cars, but all machines into sentient lifeforms deciding humanity needed to be eradicated. This set the stage for a potentially creative post-apocalyptic scenario with plenty of room for unique stories.

However, the movie ended up being limited, not only because of an inconsistent tone, but also due to its focus on one location despite the whole planet being impacted by the comet. Because of this, the best redemption for the concept would be a Maximum Overdrive remake taking itself more seriously while analyzing the widespread repercussions of the event. This could make it more accessible to audiences wary of the original, offering a polished vision with legitimate scary moments in the process.

Even though Esposito’s opinion isn’t in the majority, the positive feelings he has toward the movie can still be seen in the interesting concepts it presents, regardless of execution. Although it’s unlikely Maximum Overdrive will be considered a hidden classic, the appreciation the actor shows for it indicates how important a film it was to him. Although King never directed anything afterward, the movie arguably stands as a historical part of his career, for better or worse.

Source: CinemaBlend

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