Stephen King And Steven Spielberg Go Under The Dome At Showtime

By Jesse Carp 2011-08-30 13:10:12 discussion comments
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Stephen King And Steven Spielberg Go Under The Dome At Showtime image
It seems like the most famous man in filmmaking, Steven Spielberg, is taking this turn to producing television seriously. He's dabbled in the medium for a few years now but this year you can see his name in the credits when watching Falling Skies on TNT, or Terra Nova on Fox, or even Smash on NBC. And soon enough you'll see his name in the opening credits to a new Showtime series, right alongside an equally huge name: Stephen King.

Sorry, it's not the long gestating, transforming and ultimately troubled film/tv co-production of The Dark Tower that Universal and Ron Howard/Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment keep trying to get off the ground but instead, an adaptation of King' latest novel, Under the Dome. Spielberg and Stacey Snider of DreamWorks picked up the rights to King's novel when it was published in 2009, and now Deadline reports that Showtime is ready to make a series of it, with the search underway for a writer to take on the project.

Deadline refers to the Under the Dome series as "one of Showtime’s most ambitious undertakings," but given that HBO and AMC are both boasting genre-oriented hits right now with Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, respectively, it's not much of a surprise to see the pay cable network venture into the same territory, with really, really big names to back them up.

Personally, I'm not sure how much can be done with King's work on the small-screen. I'm trying to think of a single King property that has worked in that format, whether as a series or mini-series and, well, I'm drawing blanks. Most adaptations of King's books have been made-for-TV movies, like It, or miniseries like The Stand-- not coincidentally, both of those are set to be made again as feature films. But this will be the first time a novel by King, who's known for creating a ton of characters and multi-stranded plots, is turned into an actual TV series. Could the lengthier running time help them get it right this time?

Here's the book's official synopsis if you want to take this time to judge for yourself.

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as the dome comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with intrepid citizens - town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -even murder - to hold the power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.


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