The king of the horror genre, Stephen King, has dominated books and movies for decades. Now his stories are coming to podcasting. King’s short story “Strawberry Spring” is getting its first ever adaptation as a new scripted podcast. Audio Up Media and iHeartMedia are teaming up with television producer Lee Metzger to create an eight-episode podcast series set for release later this year.
“As a lifelong fan of Stephen King, I couldn’t be more excited to work with Jared, Audio Up, and iHeartMedia to bring this story to life. I couldn’t ask for a better project for my first scripted podcast,” said Metzger, who currently produces NBC-TV’s “The Voice” music competition series.
Strawberry Spring marks the third collaboration between Audio Up and iHeartMedia. They previously co-created the music podcast Bear And A Banjo. The two companies also worked together on the country music podcast Make It Up As We Go, that featured a fictional up-and-coming Nashville songwriter and starred real-life singer-songwriter Scarlett Burke.
“Having the opportunity to take this classic story thriller written by the most recognized horror author of all time, Stephen King, and turn it into a scripted podcast for listeners is pretty special,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group. “And partnering with Audio Up is the perfect way to do it, given their unique ability to tell complex, great stories in this medium.”
King’s “Strawberry Spring” story is about a journalist who hears the name Springheel Jack while listening to the radio, rekindling memories of a time when he was a student at New Sharon College and reminding him of when he first heard of the serial killer. The mystery quickly unfolds in a hunt for a killer, as the story’s hero sets out to track down the murderer even if it threatens his own survival.
Metzger is set to write the podcast adaptation and direct the limited series. It will also feature an all-star cast that includes actor Garrett Hedlund, Milo Ventimiglia, Herizen F. Gaurdiola, Sydney Sweeney, Ken Marino, and Al Madrigal. The podcast will be produced by Audio Up COO Philip Alberstat.
“When Lee mentioned ‘Strawberry Spring,’ I knew immediately it was a winner,” said Jared Gutstadt, Audio Up Media’s Founder and CEO. “Audio Up prides itself on continually raising the bar within audio entertainment, from working with top Hollywood actors to script creation, all the way to how we approach sound design and music composition. We hope this will be a breakout podcast this fall. I am so beyond excited for Stephen King fans to experience his work in the Audio Up podcast universe."
King’s “Strawberry Spring” was first published in 1968 in the magazine Ubris. It was then part of his classic 1978 collection of short stories “Night Shift” that featured a collection of his work published in publications including Cavalier Magazine, Penthouse, and Cosmopolitan, among others.