When the small screen reboot of Stephen King’s novella The Mist was first announced, fans of the horror master were left to wonder whether this new iteration would again revisit the story of David Drayton and his band of small town survivors, or branch off into some original territory based on the bones of the source material. The answer, it appears, may be a little of both.
The Mist, which was published back in 1980, was first adapted to film in 2007 by Frank Darabont (who’d previously directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile based on King’s books) and featured Thomas Jane as the central protagonist, who fights to protect himself and his son from the horrors both outside of and within the grocery store they’ve taken shelter in. In both versions of the thriller, beasts hidden in the mist sneak around and destroy everything outside – like the behemoth which is literarily described as big enough to make a blue whale look like a trout. Meanwhile, fear cripples the restless and fearful crowd into a pack of cowering sycophants lorded over by a bloodthirsty, maniacal zealot named Mrs. Carmody (portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in the film).
The first set of casting announcements for the TV series indicate that, while there will be some deviations from the source material, the idea of these two characters in particular, as well as the original plot, will remain mostly intact. As reported by Deadline, Vikings star Alyssa Sutherland has signed on to star as Eve Cunningham, who seems to be a gender-bent variation of David Drayton, as she also efforts to protect her teen daughter from the dangers inside the mist and away from it. Sutherland joins American Horror Story star Frances Conroy on the cast list, with Conroy’s Nathalie reportedly filling the role of the “modern-day ecological martyr.” It’s not for certain, but that description does sound like it could very well be a Mother Nature-worshipping version of Mrs. Carmody.
The series is expected to begin filming this month at an emptied Target location in Bedford, Nova Scotia, and will reportedly remain in production there for six months. Some are thus speculating that the expansive size of the location could indicate a major return to Stephen King’s original form, which saw its store’s survivors splitting off into rival factions which live at opposite sides of the building. In Darabont’s film, the characters still distanced themselves from one another as much as possible as personality clashes ensued, but the store setting there was so small that they usually appeared to be just within earshot of one another and had to whisper to form any adverse plans.
The Mist is the latest of dozens of TV series and mini-series adapted from Stephen King’s work. Most recently, ABC adapted his Under the Dome into a three-season series, and J.J. Abrams took King’s 11.22.63 to the digital realm on Hulu. Meanwhile, the long-anticipated film adaptation of his Dark Tower series is currently filming, and a remake of Stephen King’s IT (previously a two-part TV miniseries in 1990) is also currently in production for the big screen.
The Mist’s first season is expected to premiere on Spike in 2017.