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J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot is optioning Stephen King's 11/22/63 to develop as a series

04.29.2013

In a recent Ten Spot on the best unfilmed Stephen King stories, 11/22/63 was in my Top 5.  For a while, director Jonathan Demme was attached to the movie but left after disagreements with King over how the plot should be altered for a feature film.  At over 800 pages, cutting anything would be detrimental to the overal story.  So, if you cannot fit everything into a single movie, where else could you tell a long and involved story?

Television seems the ideal place for many of Stephen King's tales and 11/22/63 may be headed that way thanks to J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot productions who, according to Deadline, are optioning the rights to the time travel novel to develop as a series.  No word on which network may be involved in developing the show, but Bad Robot has worked at all of the networks in the past.  Currently two of their shows are coming back for additional seasons: REVOLUTION on NBC and PERSON OF INTEREST on CBS.

Here's the synopsis of 11/22/63:

Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students - a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane - and insanely possible - mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life - a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

It is a massive, sprawling story that could easily be made into either a mini-series or an ongoing series.  With King's UNDER THE DOME premiering this summer on CBS, we may finally be getting to a quality run of Stephen King series on television.  Part of me hopes this will lead to someone finally getting the balls to produce THE DARK TOWER, but only time will tell.

Source: Deadline

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