Stephen King adaptations: Here's a look at all the TV series headed your way from the master of horror
The universe of Stephen King's works is set to invade the TV landscape as the author's books and short stories, old and new, are being adapted after the success of other King-inspired work like 'Castle Rock'
It's officially open season on Stephen King's works with a bunch of television series coming up with new ways to tap into the author's cult classics. Hulu's 'Castle Rock' Season 2, with its fan-fiction approach to Stephen King's iconic characters -- from Annie Wilkes to Pop and Ace Merrill -- just ended. So if you were getting withdrawal pangs, here's what you can look forward to.
The most anticipated one is the HBO 'The Outsider', premiering on January 12. It stars Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, and Jason Bateman. King, who famously hated Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining', has given his stamp of approval for this adaptation. He tweeted: "THE OUTSIDER is one of the best adaptations of my work. Hope you'll watch it." The limited TV series is based on King’s novel from 2018. Richard Price, the man behind 'The Wire' and 'The Night Of', executive produces and writes this 10-episode series.
The trailer for the show has Mendelsohn as Ralph Anderson, a police detective investigating the killing of an 11-year-old. Evidence from the crime scene point to Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman), who claims he didn’t do it. But the police are confounded when footage from cameras place Terry 60 miles away from the incident when it happened. Erivo is Holly Gibney, the private investigator with unorthodox methods who steps in to help Ralph.
Another straight-to-series order is based on 'Jerusalem’s Lot', a short story by King, for Epix. The first season will have 10 episodes and have Oscar winner Adrien Brody as the lead actor. Seen as a prequel to King’s 'Salem's Lot' about vampires taking over a town, the short story is told through a series of letters and diary entries written by Captain Charles Boone.
Brody will star as Boone, who moves to Preacher’s Corners, Maine, his ancestral home, with his three children after his wife dies at sea. “This series is an intense, absolutely terrifying reimagining of classic gothic horror,” said Epix President Michael Wright about the series. Peter and Jason Filardi are scripting, exec producing and serving as show-runners for the series set for a Fall 2020 premiere.
Still in the pipe-line is 'Carrie', now part of pop culture iconography thanks to the 1976 Sissy Spacek-starrer by the same name directed by Brian De Palma. The novel about the high school misfit Carrie White who discovers she has telekinetic powers is set to be adapted as a limited TV series for FX channel. The still-nascent project, with no writers or actors attached yet, will be the first time the novel will be adapted for TV.
There is potential, at this cultural moment, for the series to reinvent this iconic anti-heroine in a feminist retelling of one woman's rage against body politics targetting women. How fitting would it be when she turns her own body into a weapon?
King's latest novel 'The Institute' has also been snapped up by David E. Kelley of 'Big Little Lies' and Jack Bender of 'Lost'. The duo will develop the story into a limited TV series for Spyglass Media Group. The book centers around 'The Institute' where kids with supernatural powers are experimented on. It's a scary place and Luke Ellis, a boy with telekinesis, finds himself locked within its walls.
Last but not the least is the adaptation of King’s 'The Stand' set to air on CBS All Access. It has already attracted an all-star cast of Amber Heard, James Marsden and Whoopi Goldberg.
'The Stand' is about a world decimated by plague and caught in a fight between good and evil. Mankind's fate rests with the108-year-old mother Mother Abagail (Goldberg) and a few survivors. The streaming platform announced in August 2019 that King will write the final episode of the series, adding to the existing book material.