Hulu’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel 11/22/63 has picked up a couple of important names, pushing it closer to active production for an expected initial release between late 2015 and 2016.
According to Variety, director Kevin Macdonald — helmer of films like 2006’s critically acclaimed The Last King of Scotland and last year’s Black Sea starring Jude Law — will be directing and executive producing the first two episodes of the planned nine-episode series, which will be produced by Warner Bros. Television for release on the popular TV streaming service. Written by television scribe and playwright Bridget Carpenter (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”), the series will also be executive produced by book author Stephen King and Bad Robot Productions head J.J. Abrams, who secured the rights to the book for a TV adaptation.
The book synopsis reads,
Jake Epping is 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.
A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.
The lead role of Jake Epping will be played by James Franco, who joined the cast in February. In addition to Franco, Chris Cooper has joined the ensemble as the curmudgeonly owner of Al’s diner, and a mentor and friend to Epping. Australian actor Daniel Webber has been cast as Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, while fellow Aussie Lucy Fry will play Oswald’s Russian wife, Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova. No official premiere date has been announced for the series by Hulu, but with major production personnel and cast in place, it likely won’t be too long before it goes in front of cameras.
For more on “11/22/63” on TV as it happens, keep an eye on GeekNation!
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