Jonathan Demme drops out as director of Stephen King's 11/22/63
Stephen King's bestseller 11/22/63 was looking like a safe bet to become a movie thanks to the involvement of director Jonathan Demme. The sprawling time travel novel was, like most of King's works, ideal for the big screen, but some trimming would obviously be needed. It appears that is where Demme and King could not see eye to eye.
Demme told The Playlist that "[11/22/63] is a big book, with lots in it. And I loved certain parts of the book for the film more than Stephen did. We're friends, and I had a lot of fun working on the script, but we were too apart on what we felt should be in and what should be out of the script," Demme said, before confirming he was off the project. "I had an option and I let it go. But I hope it's moving forward, I really want to see that movie."
11/22/63 tells the story of 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.
Stephen King may have more trouble getting this novel adapted seeing as how massive it is. Like many of his works, 11/22/63 may be better suited as a miniseries or ongoing series. Demme has been primarily making documentaries since 2008's RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. This would have been a nice return for him. Instead, we will be left to wonder what could have been.