If 2013 is the year that Stephen King finally delivers on all his previously made promises, it’s also shaping up to be the year that Stephen King gives you things you never realised you wanted in the first place, and still might not. Having already confirmed the imminent publication of that long-mooted sequel to The Shining, replete with 100% more prescient cats than the original, the beloved bestseller is also finally ready to unleash Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the southern gothic stage musical he’s been working on for over a decade with – weirdly, but progressively less so the more you think about it – John Mellencamp (née Cougar).
Based on the true story of the 1957 deaths of two midwestern brothers, the musical – which has seemed more and more like a baroque hidden camera joke with every subsequent announcement of who’s involved – is seemingly finally, actually happening, to the point that its soundtrack album has been given a concrete release date Stateside: gather everyone you know in the limited overlap between fans of In Cold Blood and people who care about the Tonys, and book in a listening party for 19 March 2013. This will apparently be followed by a full theatrical production later in the year.
Even more surprising than the show’s newfound visibility on the horizon is that more or less everyone from King and Mellencamp’s seemingly outlandish cast of collaborators remains intact. The soundtrack features contributions from largely the kind of musicians you’d expect to move in similar circles to Mellencamp – Kris Kristofferson, Roseanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Taj Mahal, the recently Americana-ed out his face Elvis Costello, alt-country power-pop force of nature Neko Case.
Reportedly joining Kristofferson and Costello on stage, however, will be Matthew McConaughey(!), Meg Ryan(!!) and 90s supporting actress fixture Samantha Mathis, last seen (it says here) openly defying the will of the free market by appearing as Dagny Taggart in the little-loved second instalment of the little-loved cinematic adaptation of Ayn Rand’s loved-by-the-little-loved doorstop Atlas Shrugged. This thing is either going to rule completely or fail spectacularly.