Published in 2011, 11.22.63 is one of Stephen King’s more recent best-selling novels. This time travel thriller follows the life of Jake Epping, a high school English teacher who discovers a portal that always takes the traveler to the 1960s. In an attempt to make the world a better place, he dedicates himself to preventing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
After one abandoned film adaptation by Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) the novel is now being made into an eight-part miniseries by J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot. In a bid to stay competitive with streaming giants Amazon and Netflix’s new original content, the series was picked up by the streaming service Hulu. In advance of the series’ February release, Hulu has released a new preview for the show that demonstrates the dangers of meddling with the past.
The trailer (above) showcases James Franco as Epping and begins at the beginning, with Al Templeton (Chris Cooper) leading him to the portal and entrusting him with the mission to kill Lee Harvey Oswald and save the president. Similar to the previous trailer, threats and violence are everywhere with an ominous voiceover warning Epping, “You see the past doesn’t want to be changed. When you get close to changing something you can feel it push back.”
Josh Duhamel (Tranformers) also stars as Frank Dunning, with T.R. Knight (42) as Johnny Clayton, Lucy Fry (Vampire Academy) as Marina Oswald and Sarah Gadon (Maps to the Stars) as Sadie Dunhill. The talent behind the camera is impressive, as the two hour premiere was directed and produced by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland). King himself was heavily involved in writing the show and serves as an executive producer alongside J.J. Abrams.
While many miniseries, like the upcoming American Crime Story, are currently attempting to retell real life events, 11.22.63 looks to be even more ambitious – grappling with history, time travel and supernatural elements all at once. This is a lot to ask of a show, but Hulu has clearly thrown its full support behind the series, giving plenty of time and attention to the sprawling narrative. With the talent involved and the promising style of the trailers we’ve seen so far, this series might just put Hulu on the map as a new power player in original content, something the service has struggled with in the past.
11.22.63 will debut on Presidents Day, February 15th, 2016, on Hulu.