J.J. Abrams Wants to Adapt Stephen King’s JFK Assassination Novel

Redemption for Alcatraz we hope…

J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot is in negotiations to acquire the rights to Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63 (22nd Nov 63) so they can adapt it into a TV series or miniseries. The story centres on an English teacher named Jake who stumbles upon a time portal that leads to 9/9/1958, which leads him on a quest to try and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy which occurred on 11/22/1963. The project was originally set up as a film that was supposed to be directed by Jonathan Demme.

Here’s the description for the book:

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time

I haven’t read the book, but I guess it’s fair to presume that Jake will probably try to stop Harry Dunning’s dad, but won’t  (shouldn’t?) save JFK to preserve his own timeline. Fans of The Twilight Zone will remember the episode “Profile In Silver” which covered a very similar story line.

Still think King should have called it 22/11/63...

Source: Vulture
Reporter: SilverFox67

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One comment

  1. Well I have read the book in question and its a lovely time travel story that poses some very serious questions about actions and consequences and it is also a rather Homage to the USA of the early sixties. After i finished the book I wrote thsi at my own blog:

    When I heard about the new novel from from Stephen King I hoped that it might be a good read but I was also far from excited having been out of the habit of reading his books for many years. However when I discovered that it was to be a novel in my favourite Science fiction genre of time travel I was intrigued enough to mention my interest to my beautiful wife who took the hint and gave me the book for Christmas.

    Now that I have finished the book well I have that “Gee that was good” feeling along with the unpleasant reality that a grand literary adventure is over the book mostly reminds me of Jack Finney’s also excellent time travel Tale “time and again” not the least because like Finney King does a masterful job of blending his fictional narrative into the fabric of historical events.Also like Finny’s book this novel is essentially a love story and a romance .

    Its also a romance of sorts with the notion that Kennedy’s assassination was the sort of event that that political tragics think so important that they would undo it in a heartbeat with the expectation of nothing but wonderful consequences. Of course King would not allow such sentimentality and wishful thinking to spoil a good yarn so he instead peppers the whole narratives with the sort of unintended consequences that ensue from changing any event in the past.

    The one thing that I do have issue with though is King’s contention that changing some things in the past could be more damaging than others. This is of course a very anthropomorphic view of history and I think that if time travel were possible that all changes to the events of the past would be of equal significance. Even so this is a work of fantasy and it was easy to suspend belief and just go along with the flow of the narrative and the rules of Kings universe.

    For long term King fans there are even the occasional allusions to his back catalogue these little bon motts were nice and would probably go right past those who are reading 11.22.63 without any previous experience of this author. Pleasant to was the tightness of the narrative, he seems to have managed to reign in his tendency in some of his longer books to ramble and digress from the strongest stream of his imagination.

    If you get the impression that I liked the book you would be absolutely correct and to be honest I look forward to the time when my memory of its narrative has faded enough that I can read it again and enjoy it anew.

    Cue a TV miniseries of this book in the not to distant future…

    As I said at the time the book really calls out for a long form adaptation and I tend to think that a movie (even a long one) would not do the story the justice it deserves and I hope that King holds out for that rather than letting it be butchered to sueeze it into a smaller time frame.

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