Hulu is developing a TV series based on Stephen King’s novel The Eyes of the Dragon. One of the horror master’s few forays into fantasy, it tells the story of a powerful and centuries-old wizard who attempts to usurp control of a kingdom, and the crown prince who must bring about the mage’s end.
The Eyes of the Dragon came about from King’s desire to write something that his children could read; the horror and terror typically seen in his books precluding them from being suitable material for the young readers, who at the time were 14, 12, and 7. Instead, he constructed a world familiar to fans of traditional fantasy, a quasi-medieval realm where the lines of morality are were clearly defined, where royalty is kind-hearted and noble and evil lies waiting in the shadows as it plots to take control, while magic is a power unusual and infrequently seen but not bizarre.
Per Deadline, Hulu is developing a pilot episode for a series based on Stephen King’s high fantasy novel The Eyes of the Dragon. The episode is being written by novelist and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, co-writer of The LEGO Batman Movie and Dark Shadows, and the novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. He said:
“I am so excited to be working in the world of Stephen King with Hulu, which has such a terrific track record with Stephen King adaptations. The goal for this series is to feel unlike any Stephen King adaptation before, with this rich underlying source material, and the only true fantasy book he wrote that has kings and swords and princesses. We will honor the spirit of the book and the legacy.”
Although The Eyes of the Dragon was well received by critics, who liked the novel’s folklore influences and mythic structure, readers were not so impressed. It was dismissed as a mere children’s story - which is not entirely unfair given that King wrote it for his kids - with very little of the horror that made his most successful works so popular with their audience. The negative reception was such that it served as partial inspiration for Misery, where, in much the same way King felt trapped into horror by the expectations of his fans; a romance author feeling chained to writing about the character that made him famous is held hostage by a demented fan and forced to write for her.
TV producers have been searching for some time for a fantasy series to adapt that has the potential to be as successful as Game of Thrones. And, with the blood-soaked brutality of George R. R. Martin’s world set to reach its final conclusion, the time to announce new productions in the genre has never been more perfect. Additionally, The Eyes of the Dragon’s villainous wizard Flagg is one of the aliases of the Man in Black, the primary antagonist of King’s magnum opus The Dark Tower, currently being rebooted as a TV series after the latest film attempt - and also Randall Flagg, the villain of The Stand, another version of which is also in production. With these ready-made connections, there is potential to begin linking subsequent King adaptations together into a shared universe which may well make The Eyes of the Dragon a gateway production to telling the whole of The Dark Tower properly.
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