Stephen King's stories have inspired some delightfully horrifying TV shows and movies, and Mr. Mercedes on Audience Network managed to deliver more Stephen King than just an adaptation of a novel. The first season of Mr. Mercedes actually brought King in front of the camera for a cameo that was very, very bloody. In his big scene, King played a chef who ended up on the wrong side of one of his kitchen instruments in an appearance that delighted fans everywhere.
Mr. Mercedes executive producer Jack Bender and members of the cast chatted with CinemaBlend's Corey Chichizola at San Diego Comic-Con about Stephen King stories, and Bender had this to say about working with King:
Remember, Season 1, how thrilled he was to have the hatchet? I wanted to put him in a scene and so we put him in this scene in a restaurant where Brady is imagining all this horror that he's creating, and 'Stephen,' I said, 'Well, what if you're the chef and we just put a cleaver in your neck and bloody you up.' He said, 'Oh, that sounds great.' And he did it brilliantly.
The Master of Horror himself isn't afraid to get bloody for the sake of TV! Stephen King has had cameos on adaptations of his stories in the past, but never quite so memorable as his Mr. Mercedes appearance as a chef who'd had his neck chopped into by his own meat cleaver. Kudos to King for pulling off a perfect dead-eye stare as he slumped in a pool of his own (fake) blood! As it turns out, Stephen King can dish it out in his books and take it on the screen!
Kudos to Jack Bender as well for casting Stephen King as the restaurant extra who had died a bloody death via gigantic kitchen blade. King could have been just another diner patron, eating his meal in the background. Instead, viewers got to see King as a character who had died a death that wouldn't have been out of place in one of his books. His appearance also didn't distract from the intention of the scene that showed Brady picturing all the horrors he could create.
Stephen King hasn't appeared in the second season of Mr. Mercedes, alive or dead. Perhaps he'll have the chance to return to the front of the camera, if and when a third season hits the airwaves. According to Jack Bender, King was happy with the finished product of his scene and the whole episode. Here's how Bender put it:
When he saw the episode, he said, 'Love the episode, especially who's that guy who played the chef?'
Mr. Mercedes hasn't adapted Stephen King's books about Bill Hodges and Co. to the letter. The first season was the most faithful to the first book, but the second has gone in its own direction that perhaps even King himself never imagined. At this point, we can only hope that Mr. Mercedes keeps the suspense and scares coming as Season 2 continues. You can find new episodes on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Audience.