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19-Year-Old Student Buys Film Adaptation Rights of Stephen King’s Short Story For $1

Margaret Tionquiao

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  • Ukrainian student Valentin Lavrenyuk has just become one of Stephen King’s Dollar Babies after he signed a contract for the film adaptation of Stationary Bike.
  • Stationary Bike was originally published in the fifth edition of From the Borderlands and was later republished as part of King’s Just After Sunset collection.
  • Valentin is the newest member in the roster of film students, aspiring filmmakers, and theater producers who wanted to try their hand at a Stephen King story through the Dollar Deal.

Nineteen-year-old Ukrainian student Valentin Lavrenyuk has bought the rights to film an adaptation of best-selling author Stephen King’s Stationary Bike at $1 under the Dollar Deal Program.

The Dollar Deal (or Dollar Baby) program is a project where Stephen King sells the rights to film an adaptation of some of his works for $1 to students and aspiring filmmakers “to lend a helping hand to beginners” just as how he got the same opportunity when he was starting.

Under the contract for the Dollar Deal program, the film may not be uploaded on a network or broadcast on television. However, if Stephen King personally allows it, a wider release may be possible.

The Stationary Bike is a 34-paged short story, originally published in 2003, as part of the fifth edition of From the Borderlands. In 2008, it was republished under Stephen King’s Just After Sunset collection. Previous adaptations were also released under the same program, including the 2012 film Bike, produced by Gwynplaine Films, and an audiobook read by Ron McLarty.

The Stationary Bike tells the story of Richard Sifkitz, an artist who tried to lose weight using a stationary bike in the basement of his New York house after his doctor tells him that his cholesterol level is too high. To make his weight loss journey more fun, he plotted a route from New York to Herkimer and painted a scene of the road with the workmen (from the anecdote that his doctor used to describe his metabolism problem that might lead to heart problem) on the wall facing the bike. However, as he lost weight and neared Herkimer according to his plotted route, the painting started becoming ghastly. One of the workmen died, and Sifkitz started getting strange illusions of someone following him on his daily rides. 

Valentin decided to film the adaptation, following in the footsteps of his father, Sergey Lavrenyuk, general producer for Solar Media Entertainment. His request received a positive response and was allowed for a year. At the time of writing, the newest adaptation to Stationary Bike is all set to be released before the year ends as Valentin’s debut project.

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