For as long as Stephen King has been a published novelist, his work has been a prime target for adaptation to both film and TV. For example, Carrie – his very first book – has alone been adapted into 2 different feature films and one TV miniseries. This pattern of multiple adaptations of the same King material has also held true for titles like Salem’s Lot, The Shining, and soon, IT.
The latest King story to be adapted more than once is The Mist, which is soon to become a TV series on Spike, after having previously been adapted for theaters in 2007 by frequent director of King material, Frank Darabont. While generally well-regarded by both King fans and horror fans in general, Darabont’s The Mist did end up creating one major point of contention. In contrast to the somewhat hopeful, quietly ambiguous ending presented in print by King, Darabont’s Mist ending went entirely in the opposite direction, killing off several main characters in a shocking climax that many viewers found to be a bit of a cheat.
Unfortunately for those in the “hated it” camp when it came to Darabont’s ending, recent statements given by executive producer Christian Torpe to TV Guide indicate that the ending of Spike’s Mist TV show may end up a lot closer to what Darabont directed than what King wrote:
“I personally love Mr. [Frank Darabont’s] ending. I thought it was a stroke of genius. We are playing around in that territory and we also know, of course, Mr. King’s ending. And I know Mr. King actually preferred Darabont’s ending. And so I think we came up with our own spin on a very original and surprising ending.”
In fairness, and as Torpe points out above, King himself has professed publicly that even he prefers Darabont’s darker, more depressing ending to The Mist. That said, with as much as David Drayton’s fateful final decision split the fanbase in 2007, one wonders if it would really be a good move to try and emulate it. Of course, it won’t be emulated exactly, as The Mist will not be a straight adaptation of King’s story, but will instead take the basic premise and small town paranoia themes and center them around a group of original characters and storylines. In other words, there won’t be a David Drayton playing the hero this time:
“Let’s call it a reimagination. Internally, we talk about it as doing the Fargo approach, where the movie and the TV show is the same, but it’s different. It’s like a weird, twisted cousin to the original source material. Fans of the movie and of the book and of Mr. King’s work will certainly see elements from it. … We also, in order to develop it for TV and turn it into an ongoing series, took our own little detours here and there.”
Some of the actors set to populate the TV version of The Mist include Alyssa Sutherland (Vikings), Morgan Spector (Person of Interest), Okezie Morro (Red Tails), and Frances Conroy (American Horror Story). The full cast is quite large, as unlike King’s original story, this Mist cuts between different groups of people trapped inside different locations. It’ll be interesting to see what horrors The Mist hides in areas of town not right outside the local grocery store.
The Mist premieres on Spike TV sometime in 2017.
Source: TV Guide