JJ Abrams to Produce Under the Dome Author Stephen King TV Series?
From Regarding Henry, to Felicity, to Alias, to Lost, to Star Trek, to Revolution, to Star Wars, to…..Under the Dome author Stephen King?????!!!!!
If JJ Abrams has his way, that seems to be his current trajectory. His production company, Bad Robot, has optioned Stephen King‘s 2011 novel, 11/22/63 for cable television (they haven’t yet said if it will be basic or premium cable). Yes, he wants to make this sci-fi tale about a present day teacher time travelling and attempting to prevent JFK’s assassination an actual series on television. This announcement was made on the same day that NBC announced they are renewing Revolution for a season 2. Person of Interest was also renewed for a third season. 11/22/63 was originally optioned to be a feature film Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Something Wild, Rachel Getting Married) would direct, but dropped out of due to creative differences. We are guessing that these differences did not involved television series plans. The rights have since lapsed and Bad Robot appears to won the bidding war for them. With the premiere of Under the Dome on CBS just two months away, it seems Stephen King is coming to television for the long haul. JJ Abrams is probably just to executive produce since, well….he’s making Star Wars….enough said.
Of course, this is not the first time JJ Abrams has tried to get a hold of a Stephen King property. A few years ago, he worked with Damon Lindelof on an adaptation of The Dark Tower that went nowhere fast (Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have been trying to get their version for film and television made for years to no avail). Considering this supposed series might be better for a mini-series, the notion of making it into a on-going series on cable seems iffy at best. I guess it could be a new version of Sliders or even The Butterfly Effect for the 21st century (perish the thought). Then again, UTD did not sound like a natural fit for a series and look where that went (or we shall see).
It is far too early for any casting and/ or network speculations. I am thinking this could be good for Syfy or HBO. The lead time traveler/teacher character, Jake Epping/George Amberson, could be played by any number of Hollywood leading men. Might I suggest Jake Gyllenhaal if he wants to do television.
It is interesting to note that this novel has some things in common with Under the Dome. Stephen King started writing it in the 1970s before Carrie was published under the title, Split Track. He abandoned it after about 14 pages and eventually finished it in the 21st century after the publication of Under the Dome. Stephen King‘s son, famed author Joe Hill, suggested he change the original (rather conventional) ending…and convinced him!
Maybe Joe Hill can contribute to some teleplays of the series as well.
Watch Under the Dome Author Stephen King Talk About 11/22/63!