September 24, 2014

J.J. Abrams bringing Stephen King adaptation to Hulu


J.J. Abrams is adapting Stephen King's 11/22/63 into a series for Hulu. © s_bukley / via Shutterstock

J.J. Abrams is adapting Stephen King’s 11/22/63 into a series for Hulu.
© s_bukley / via Shutterstock

Stephen King’s 2011 novel that centers around the Kennedy assassination, 11/22/63, is heading to the small screen, courtesy of producer/screenwriter/director J.J. Abrams.

Nellie Andreeva writes for Deadline that Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot (which also brought us Alias, Lost, the recent Star Trek movies, and the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII), are bringing a limited-run series based on the book to online streaming platform Hulu. The company optioned the rights to 11/22/63 about a year and a half ago.

King’s bestselling thriller follows high school teacher Jake Epping as he goes through a time portal that takes him from 2011 back to 1958, at which points he decides to remain in the past to try and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which of course happened on the titular date, November 11, 1963.

King — no stranger to having his writing adapted for the screen — is excited for the project and enthused to Deadline, “If I ever wrote a book that cries out for long-form, event TV programming, 11/22/63 is it. I’m excited that it’s going to happen, and am looking forward to working with J.J. Abrams and the whole Bad Robot team.” And Abrams, for his part, said of the project, “I’ve been a fan of Stephen King since I was in junior high school. The chance to work with him at all, let alone on a story so compelling, emotional and imaginative, is a dream.”

Bridget Carpenter is adapting the novel for television (online television, anyway), into a nine-episode series. While the plan at the moment is to stick with a one-time “event” series, Hulu is open to the possibility of further installments, possibly taking place around other historic events.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.