The Mist has been canceled by Spike TV after one season. Critical and commercial failure of The Dark Tower movie aside, 2017 has been a pretty good year when it comes to film and TV adaptations of Stephen King stories. Director Andy Muschietti’s film adaptation of IT is clearly the biggest winner of the bunch, breaking all kinds of box office records. The Audience Network’s TV series version of Mr. Mercedes has also earned lots of good reviews, as have Netflix’s upcoming movies Gerald’s Game and 1922.
Unfortunately, in the midst of all that King-based success comes a casualty, that being Spike’s TV adaptation of King’s classic novella The Mist. The network picked up the project straight to series in spring 2016, and clearly seemed to have high hopes of it turning into a hit. After all, people generally love King, and The Mist is a very popular story.
Things began in a positive way, with The Mist’s debut episode drawing in a healthy – for basic cable – 1.2 million viewers. However, the honeymoon didn’t last, with subsequent episodes just barely managing to cross the 800,000 viewer mark, even with DVR viewing included. Combine that with reviews for season 1 that generally leaned toward the negative side of the fence, and THR reports that Spike has opted to officially cancel The Mist after airing only a single 10-episode season.
While it can’t be blamed entirely for The Mist’s failure to catch on with the masses, the series ended up earning a lot of scorn from hardcore King fans due to its decision to change just about every aspect of the story. Not only were the characters entirely different than the ones found in King’s prose, but Spike’s The Mist also jettisoned the giant Lovecraftian monsters that originally resided within the titular substance. The limitations of a TV budget likely played a factor in that decision, but it still disappointed many.
The Mist was previously adapted into a feature film back in 2007, with director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) at the helm. While Darabont’s altered ending divided fans to an extent, his film stuck pretty closely to King’s original vision, and succeeded in capturing the spirit of the story. With Spike’s Mist now done, it would appear that Darabont’s film will remain the definitive adaptation of The Mist going forward.
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