Stephen King’s 11/22/63, about a teacher who finds a link back in time and attempts to prevent John F. Kennedy’s assassination, is among his best received books, appealing even to those readers who are sometimes turned away by the stark terror of some of his stories. Like most of King’s novels, it places a supernatural event in a world with realistic elements and believable characters. 11/22/63, though, adds to the mix historical fiction, a story that has raised questions for conspiracy theorists and real-life mystery buffs, and a sense of inevitability.
NPR calls the 11/22/63 a “what-if science fiction take on a subject that’s been tackled over and over again by historians,” and reviewer Alan Cheuse raves about the novel, saying that he wouldn’t have King change a word in the book that took most of two years to write.
“The combination of King’s love of the ’50s and his deeper search into the Kennedy assassination make this novel a terrifically entertaining work of fiction.”
He’s not the only one. When King published the novel, Metacritic compiled reviews from a variety of sites, and they’re overwhelmingly positive, with the few negative reviews focused largely on the length and the amount of history stuffed into the pages.
Now, 11/22/63 will be adapted into a mini-series on Hulu, and James Franco has been selected for the starring role. According to Variety, Franco will serve as producer as well as playing the part of Jake Epping. The miniseries is being called “part historical thriller, part love story,” which accurately reflects Stephen King’s work — in the book, a love interest is one of many factors that complicates Epping’s mission.
Epping can be easily forgiven for getting a bit distracted — the time portal he discovers takes him to 1958, leaving him to wait for five years in the past before he can carry out his task.
King himself appears to be happy with the project.
“If I ever wrote a book that cries out for longform, event-TV programming, ‘11/22/63‘ is it.”
Hulu calls the mini-series a “monumental deal.”
“This direct-to-series order marks a monumental deal for Hulu as we partner with J.J. Abrams and Stephen King, two of the most celebrated storytellers of our time. We are thrilled to be working with them and with Warner Bros. Television to bring this unique take on one of the most seminal historic events of the twentieth century to Hulu.”
There is not yet a release date for Hulu’s adaptation of Stephen King’s 11/22/63, but more information should be available in coming days.
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