Much like the motion picture adaptation of The Mist, a novella written by Stephen King, the upcoming Spike TV series will delve into the human monsters within as much as into the monsters lurking about in the fog. Much will be similar to the 2007 Frank Darabont film adaptation, but there will also be some changes, as might be expected. Christian Torpe, who has adapted The Mist for television, opens up about those changes, including the possibility of an alternate ending, and shares what Stephen King thinks about the television adaptation.
Christian Torpe On Recreating The Mist For Television
As Torpe tells Entertainment Weekly, the goal in developing The Mist for T.V. has always been to create a series with longevity that will keep viewers tuning in over the long haul. To do that, Christian has had to change a few things, deviating from both the Stephen King novella and the 2007 film. The grocery store is no longer the setting, for instance, and the town residents will be locked down in a number of different locations, including a church and a mall.
Keeping true to the heart of the story penned by the king of horror, Torpe's version of The Mist will also have conflicts among the residents, as individual theories about the cause of the mist (and those monsters dwelling within it) become sources of contention among the various residents.
Sex sells and Christian feels that adding more sex to the story will create a wider base of dark story arcs to draw from in his series.
Among the saucier story arcs planned for Season 1 of The Mist is Eve Copeland (Alyssa Sutherland), a local schoolteacher with a sordid past. She has been the source of much gossip in the small town, stemming from her sex education lessons, as much as from her wild past.
Christian suggests Kevin (Morgan Spector), Eve's husband, will be drawn into a compelling conflict, when his beliefs are questioned in light of his wife's past.
Six Feet Under's Frances Conroy also joins The Mist as Nathalie Raven, a devout spiritualist with a martyr complex. Fans of the original Stephen King story and the Frank Darabont can already see where this is heading.
The Spike TV version of King's novella will add more conflicting characters to the series as the season moves forward, such as a football star accused of a crime, a store manager seeking out an opportunity to gain control over the trapped town residents, a drug addict, a priest, and a soldier, who's also an amnesiac.
Christian says this still leaves room for some characters from the King source material.
"It's a weird cousin to the original material," he says. "It has a constant ebb and flow communication with the novella. But who knows? Maybe some of the original characters will make a cameo at some point."The Mist Showrunner On Stephen King's Reaction And One Possible Alternate Ending
Speaking with JoBlo, Christian opened up about his plans for the eventual end of the series, sharing news that fans of the novella and the feature film may not be prepared for what's to come. The Mist boss says his admiration of both the King story and the Darabont film extends to the different endings.
He compares Frank's film ending, a political commentary for those willing to look deep enough, as something very sinister and dark, which he loved about the movie. Meanwhile, the way Stephen ended the novella source material was also compelling and Torpe says he found that ending just as beautiful, though for different reasons.
What does all of this say about Christian's ideas for how he'll end his own interpretation of The Mist?
"Where our ending will land I obviously can't tell you but I can say that it is absolutely one of the places where the show communicates with the movie and the book!"Christian does reveal that Stephen King has read the scripts and has responded in an email with his thoughts on the changes Torpe made for his television adaptation. Christian compares the experience of getting an email from King to reading his It as a teenager, revealing that the idea of opening that email left him feeling nervous and fearful.
In the end, The Mist showrunner had nothing to fear.
"He was such a gentleman, incredibly generous in terms of the changes I have made. He has also read and seen the pilot and thought it was 'pretty damn good.' Hoping and praying he will continue to think that about the rest of the show!"The Mist, starring Alyssa Sutherland, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Bill Carr, is scheduled to premiere on Thursday, June 22 on Spike TV.
[Featured Image by Dimension Films]