The first trailer for the AT&T Audience Network original series Mr. Mercedes, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, has been released. The series suffered a few setbacks during its production. Through the death of Anton Yelchin (who was originally cast as Brady Hartsfield) and the departure of Ann-Margret (originally playing Ida Silver), the series soldiered on and found the talent it needed to bring the adaptation to the small screen.
Starring Brendan Gleeson as retired detective Bill Hodges, Mr. Mercedes tells the tale of the “Mercedes Killer” and Detective Hodges’ attempt to bring him to justice once and for all. The killer plays a cat-and-mouse game with Hodges, sending him email and letters to taunt him before escalating things and trying to take Hodges out permanently. The trailer does a good job of setting up the story and showing both Hodges and the killer without focusing on any single scene for too long. The trailer ends with flashes of various events from the season, giving only a brief peek at each before moving on to the next in order to keep up the suspense.
If you aren’t familiar with Audience, you likely aren’t a DirecTV subscriber. Originally launching as Freeview in 1999, Audience began with looped content of concerts and other events. After a move and a rebranding or two, original content began to air on the channel as well. Audience picked up Mr. Mercedes in May 2016 with a 10-episode order. Production began earlier this year, and the series is set to premiere on August 9.
Mr. Mercedes is just one of several Stephen King projects debuting this year, following last month’s premiere of The Mist on Spike and the August 4 release of The Dark Tower in theaters. Stephen King’s IT also releases later this year, and the King-focused Castle Rock is currently casting for a 2018 premiere on Hulu. Other King projects are also in various stages of development as well.
Some fans may dislike the fact that Mr. Mercedes is airing on Audience, since this limits its potential audience to DirecTV subscribers. This is certainly a limiting factor, and could restrict the series’ appeal compared to more readily available original series on platforms such as Netflix or Hulu. Should the series prove popular, however, positive reviews and word-of-mouth may help drive DVD and Blu-ray sales once the series is inevitably released on disc to wider audiences.
Mr. Mercedes premieres on DirecTV’s Audience network on August 9, 2017.
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