A Completely New Kind Of Stephen King Adaptation Is Happening With This Is Us' Milo Ventimiglia

stephen king interview on cbs sunday morning

Here in the year 2021, Stephen King fans have been enjoying (and otherwise) adaptations of his stellar (and otherwise) works for 45 years now, with Brian De Palma's Carrie quickly setting a high bar in 1976. Since then, there have been oodles and oodles of films and TV shows and comic books bringing his words to life in other mediums. Now, constant readers are somehow getting an adaptation that hasn't been achieved before, with one of King's early short stories being turned into a podcast starring This Is Us' Milo Ventimiglia and others.

Not only will this be the first time a Stephen King story or novel will be adapted into a scripted podcast, but it's the first ever adaptation for the story itself, "Strawberry Spring," which was first published in a 1968 issue of Ubris magazine. The story reached the masses a decade later as part of King's first story collection Night Shift, which spawned a multitude of adaptations from its other stories, including "Children of the Corn," "The Mangler," "Sometimes They Come Back," "Graveyard Shift," and "The Lawnmower Man." (And let's not forget "Trucks," which later became the infamous Maximum Overdrive.)

With the podcast stretching the plotline out a bit to make it an episodic release, Strawberry Spring centers on a journalist who, upon being reminded of a serial killer active during his college years, falls into an obsessive hunt for this killer, dubbed "Springheel Jack." As it goes with a story like this, the protagonist is not going to have an easy time with this investigation, and he's not going to like everything that he discovers.

milo ventimiglia's jack in a t-shirt in this is us season 5

The Strawberry Spring podcast will be a co-production between acclaimed podcast studio Audio Up Media and iHeartMedia, with The Voice producer Lee Metzger and documentary producer Philip Alberstat putting things together behind the scenes. The cast is as solid as one would expect from a high-profile Stephen King adaptation, too. Beyond Milo Ventimiglia, the project will also star Mosaic's Garrett Hedlund, Stargirl's Brec Bassinger, American Gods' Herizen F. Gaurdiola, The White Lotus star Sydney Sweeney, Black Monday's Ken Marino, and Physical's Al Madrigal. Character information was not given in the initial announcement.

Stephen King stories have obviously been adapted as audiobooks for as long as it's been possible to do so, and the 1999 release Blood and Smoke featured King reading three short stories that hadn't been published in collections at the time. But this will be the first time any of King's stories will be dramatized in episodic form as an audio drama. Audio One Media is also responsible for such popular podcasts as Missed Riffs with MTV vet Matt Pinfield, Ever After with Jaleel White, and Sorry We're Stoned with Miley Cyrus' mom Trish and sister Brandi. It sounds like they'll be putting proper resources into Strawberry Spring, too, so expect for this to sound as good as a live-action iteration would.

There are plenty of other upcoming Stephen King movies and TV shows on the horizon, as well. King's first TV series that he actually developed himself, the Apple TV+ drama Lisey's Story, just wrapped up its limited-series run on July 16. Meanwhile, the Firestarter reboot is currently filming, Adrian Brody's 'Salem's Lot-adjacent Chapelwaite is set to premiere on EPIX on August 22, while the IT films' writer Gary Dauberman is working on a feature version of 'Salem's Lot. And there are literally dozens of other adaptations in the works. But none will be quite like Strawberry Spring, constant podcast listeners.

While waiting to feast your ears on the Strawberry Spring podcast, be sure to take note of all the great TV shows that are coming to the 2021 Summer TV schedule, as well as all the newly released premiere dates for everything debuting in the Fall TV schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.