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Some authors out there may be more comparatively prolific than horror maestro Stephen King, but they can't dare top his universal popularity. But for all the many, many things that he's written in the past 40+ years, King has somehow never penned a full-blown TV series adaptation from one of his own works. That long streak will end soon, however, as King is masterminding the scripts for Lisey's Story, his 2006 supernatural romance that received a straight-to-series order from Apple, with Julianne Moore set to star.
That's right, Constant Readers, the man himself will get the chance to pare down the lengthy Lisey's Story for television, which could hypothetically mean fans will get one of the most truly sincere adaptations of his work yet. No one likely needs to worry about the TV project eventually going off the rails like so many Stephen King adaptations have done in the past, as Lisey's Story is being planned as an eight-episode tale. Thankfully, King will be the one writing each episode, according to THR.
The new Apple TV+ series will feature a rare TV-starring turn from the Oscar-winning Julianne Moore, who will play a wife still mourning the loss of her husband two years prior. A thriller that delves into personal emotions as much as any other horrors, Lisey's Story puts its title character in a situation that forces her to reconcile with parts of her past that had been long closed off and forgotten.
When Lisey begins going through the motions of clearing out the office of her late husband, a writer, she stumbles back into memories of him that she'd long ago repressed. She recalls her husband's damaging childhood and the reality-thwarting aftermath of that situation, all while dealing with the current-day threat of one of her husband's biggest fans harassing her.
The role of Lisey needs a powerful actress who can do just as much with silence as with a page full of dialogue, and Julianne Moore is a downright excellent choice for the part. The show will require her to wallow deeply in melancholy, confusion, rage, fear and everything else on that end of the emotional spectrum. If anyone can handle all that and then some, it's Moore.
Considering Lisey's husband Scott also plays a big role in the book – in flashbacks, of course – a big named actor would likely be preferable for the part. No other casting has been revealed just yet, but with Moore involved, expect some major actors to sign on soon.
Stephen King will also be executive producing Lisey's Story, as well as writing it, while Moore will also be an EP. They'll be joined by J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson through their Bad Robot studio. (Abrams will also serve as a straight-up producer.) The project is one that King has wanted for some time, having admitted in the past that Lisey's Story would be the one work of his that he would actively want to create the adaptation for.
That's an understandable urge, too, considering Lisey's Story has such a darkly personal inspiration. The author got the idea for the book after being hospitalized in 1999, when he was hit by a van and got seriously injured. Upon returning home, he noticed many of his belongings in boxes, as his wife Tabitha was redesigning his work studio, and envisioned things would have been like that if he'd died. Boom: there's the hook.
Lisey's Story marks the third collaboration between Stephen King and J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot. Their first co-project was the Hulu limited series 11.22.63, which was a good time, if a rather streamlined one. Next came the far more sprawling and ambitious Castle Rock, also for Hulu, which weaves together various King plot threads and characters.
It's interesting that the collaborators are flipping from Hulu to Apple TV+. Abrams does already have a couple of projects lined up at Apple, though, so it's not too weird.
Stephen King, meanwhile, currently has around 10-100 of his works in line for adaptations, with the new Pet Sematary remake hitting theaters this past weekend and earning beaucoup box office dollars. (King was fine with that major change, too.) As far as TV shows go, he's got The Stand coming to CBS All Access, more Mr. Mercedes coming to Audience, his short story "Survivor Type" will be adapted for Greg Nicotero's Creepshow revival, and there's also The Dark Tower and The Outsider coming.
For now, no release dates have been revealed for when Lisey's Story will be heading to TV, but stay tuned for any updates in the meantime.