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Now that horror has cemented its spot all across the television landscape, it’s somewhat surprising that Under the Dome was the only current small screen Stephen King adaptation out there. (Especially since that wasn’t very horror-filled in the first place.) But that’s all changing in the next year, as a handful of King’s works are being spun into TV series, and the latest of these is his terrifying limited-location thriller The Mist, a novella that you might remember has already been turned into a feature film some years back.
In what is both reassuring and slightly dismaying news, the TV version of The Mist is being put together by Dimension Television and will follow an original story that uses King’s source material as a guide rather than a strict outline. There’s always something perturbing about an adaptation that doesn’t actually have anything to do with the original story, but it sounds like this could head to some pretty freaky places that King’s novella didn’t, so I can’t be too upset. Plus, King gave his blessing to the project, although he basically gives his blessing to any project based on anything in his bibliography.
The series will be brought to TV by acclaimed Danish writer Christian Torpe, whose name might not be familiar to American audiences. He created the hit comedic drama series Rita, which you can currently find on Netflix, and has written for several TV shows and films over the years. His plan, which basically sounds like a logline of the original, is to tell the tale of “a seemingly innocuous mist that seeps into a small town but contains limitless havoc.” This new mist will shelter both otherworldly creatures and unending psychological terrors that bring out the darkness within the town’s citizens as they attempt to rid themselves of the supernatural phenomena, as well as everyone else around them. Co-chairman of Dimension Films Bob Weinstein says that Thorpe has created “a fascinating band of characters and a story with infinite scares,” so that sounds promising.
The original story, which was the standout first chunk of King’s collection Skeleton Crew, was told fairly faithfully by director Frank Darabont for his 2007 film, which followed a group of characters that found themselves trapped inside of a supermarket as the killer mist caused many of them to turn against one another. The movie notably changed the somewhat ambiguous ending of the novella and delivered a gut-stompingly dark finale that we can assume the TV show will avoid replicating. (Plus, the movie looked amazing in black-and-white on the Blu-ray, but we probably shouldn’t expect that either.)
The Mist doesn’t have a network or any kind of production schedule just yet, so we’re anxiously waiting to hear more news about it. Until then, we can expect to see Stephen King’s presence on TV in the form of Hulu’s upcoming 11/22/63, the cable miniseries of The Stand, and a potential series based on Mr. Mercedes. On the big screen, IT is being worked out, along with the road trip thriller In the Tall Grass.Somebody get Joyland going, could you?