When Frank Darabont brought The Mist to theaters, the feature-length runtime allowed him to basically adapt Stephen King's story as is, with minimal changes made from page to screen. (Gigantic and polarizing as one of those changes was.) But a television show obviously provides much more narrative space, and the new Spike series' creator Christian Torpe decided to revamp almost everything in order to expand the plot accordingly. Torpe spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of The Mist's premiere, and he shared a few of the references and easter eggs from King's story that stayed intact.
We have a little cameo with Mrs. Carmody in there. The Marcia Gay Harden character, not played by Marcia Gay Harden herself in this one. We have this different character in the show that is sort of our spin on the Mrs. Carmody character, but I still wanted to keep her there in a small cameo and give her the faith that I so long for her to have. That's definitely one. We touched upon briefly The Arrowhead Project that is also mentioned in the novella. Natalie, Frances Conroy's character, researches something called Black Spring, which is also mentioned in the novella. There's bits and pieces in there that sort of touches upon the underlying mythology in the original story for the hardcore fans.
As far as the general atmosphere and broad plot mechanics are concerned, _The _Mist is faithful to Stephen King's original vision, and even someone who has never read The Mist would likely recognize it, though I suppose there could be some The Fog-based confusion. But even though just about every single character is the creation of Christian Torpe's imagination, he thankfully kept some of the most important story-widening details in there and was also kind enough to include the brief appearance from the most notorious character from the novella and the film.
Mrs. Carmody, as fans no doubt know, was the superlatively religious zealot whose persuasiveness and radical ideas were almost as scary as the monsters that lurked in the opaque haze. Wisely, Torpe's chose not to remove the darkness of spiritualism from The Mist entirely, and instead chose her to be the lone novella character popping in to share her snooty opinion with Alyssa Sutherland's Eve before dismissing sage advice to not go into the Mist. He just wanted to let that wacky woman wag her tongue a little, and from a face that is eventually missing a jawbone, before passing the zealotry angle on to another character.
The film's take on the Arrowhead Project expanded upon the brief mentions in Stephen King's source material, and according to Torpe, The Mist is going to head in a different direction with where it takes the secretive military situation on the small screen. It shouldn't be such a hard thing to do, considering the explanative gist was "it's the government's fault," and I'm interested to see how widespread the show's conspiratorial approach will be. That goes double for the Black Spring angle, since the research that Frances Conroy's character does in the premiere covers the entirety of what Stephen King's story explains. Nothing gets me going like a good weather-related mystery involving a lake that turns black.
Few Stephen King works exist that don't offer shoutouts and references to his myriad other novels, short stories, etc. And so I had to confirm with Christian Torpe that The Mist would indeed follow in the footsteps of that connected universe pattern throughout Season 1.
Yeah. Yeah, it will definitely have hints and nods to other King works. Definitely.
Considering we've already got IT and The Dark Tower heading to theaters in the relatively near future, combined with TV takes on Mr. Mercedes and that aforementioned connected universe, we're hoping that The Mist digs deep with its references and calls back to unexpected corners of Stephen King's bibliography. I'd love to see a bunch of Skeleton Crew stories get some love, since that's where The Mist was first enjoyed by mass audiences.
Check out the sweet advice Stephen King gave Christian Torpe, and don't forget that The Mist airs Thursday nights on Spike at 10:00 p.m. ET. (And you can actually watch the next two episodes of the show on Spike's website, assuming you're a subscriber to one of the services listed.) To see everything else that's hitting the small screen during the coming months, head to our summer premiere schedule.