The upcoming TV version of The Mist won’t be a “monster show,” strictly speaking. While TV miniseries based on the works of iconic horror author Stephen King have been a fairly common occurrence since Salem’s Lot arrived back in 1979, it’s only in more recent times that King’s stories have become a popular basis for actual ongoing TV series. Just a few of these shows include USA’s mid-2000s adaptation of The Dead Zone, CBS 3-season version of Under the Dome, Syfy’s long-running original Haven, and Hulu’s 8-episode take on time travel tale 11/22/63. One of the newest entries into the King-based TV series realm is Spike’s The Mist, based on King’s lengthy apocalyptic novella from the collection Skeleton Crew.
The Mist was of course previously adapted as a feature film in 2007, directed by frequent King collaborator Frank Darabont, who had previously helmed both The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. While Darabont’s arguably much darker ending proved divisive among fans, The Mist movie has a generally solid reputation among both King devotees and the general public. Thus, when Spike hired showrunner Christian Torpe to adapt The Mist as a series, many found themselves quite skeptical about the potential of the project.
This skepticism only increased when the first trailer for The Mist TV series was released, as to the surprise of many fans of both King’s story and Darabont’s film, there were no Lovecraftian monsters lurking within the titular mist to devour unfortunate victims. Subsequent trailers and TV spots continued this lack of tentacled beasts. While some optimistic fans still held out hope that monsters might actually reside in Spike’s Mist after all, a recent interview with Torpe conducted by Arrow in the Head seems to largely put the kibosh on that notion for good.
“I don’t want to reveal too much about what we see in there. What I can say is, it is more a show about how people react to what they see than what is actually there. It becomes boring if you know everything that’s in the show, so we were mindful of not going full-blown monster show like the movie did. I still hope we will deliver to the hardcore genre fans.”
While Torpe’s above quote doesn’t explicitly say that there won’t be any monsters on The Mist TV series, it definitely seems to confirm that the otherworldly beasts that served as antagonists in King’s story and Darabont’s film are at the very least being put on the back burner, if not eliminated completely. This is sure to disappoint King’s constant readers, many of which love The Mist specifically due to the terrifying creatures that the author crafted, a good amount of which Darabont translated to the screen with admirable faithfulness.
On the other hand, the lack of monsters on The Mist TV series is understandable to an extent, at least as far as the limited budget constraints of most cable shows. Even if he had wanted to – and judging by the quote above, he may very well not have – include the monsters present in the original story, Torpe may have had his hands tied by lack of budget for visual and/or practical effects, forcing him to resort to more psychological horrors that the mist could inflict on those trapped within it. Still, that likely won’t stop the inevitable backlash from King’s hardcore faithful.
The Mist premieres June 22 on Spike.
Source: Arrow in the Head