Fresh off the printing press, Stephen King’s new novel The Institute is being adapted into a television series. King’s latest science-fiction horror novel hit shelves today, and is being taken under the wing of prestigious producer David E. Kelly for a limited run on the small screen.
Penned by King, The Institute follows 12-year-old Luke Ellis, who's abruptly orphaned after his parents are murdered by intruders in their home. Kidnapped in the middle of the night, Luke awakens in a place dubbed The Institute. Eerily, the room holding him captive is a replica of his room at home, except there's no window. Luke quickly ascertains he's not alone. The Institute houses children with special abilities, including telekinesis and telepathy. Located in Maine, the ominous building is run by the institute's director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff. Obsessed with extracting the special talents from the children, The Institute’s staff begins to disappear its captive victims, leaving Luke desperate to escape and get help. Now, the promising page-turner is making its way to the small screen.
According to Variety, The Institute is in the creative hands of Kelley (Big Little Lies, The Practice) and director Jack Bender (Game of Thrones, Under the Dome). The duo previously worked with King on adapting the writer’s Bill Hodges Trilogy into Mr. Mercedes. Spyglass Media won the rights to produce The Institute, marking the first in a multi-project deal with Bender. Spyglass’ president of television Lauren Whitney expressed excitement about adapting King’s work:
Having the opportunity to work on a new and brilliant book by Stephen King is an absolute privilege. We are thrilled to collaborate with this dream team, including the incomparable David E. Kelley, and Jack Bender, the architect behind this project, whose extensive directing and executive producing credits speak for themselves. After such a competitive pursuit, we have big plans for ‘The Institute’ here at Spyglass.
Fresh off the success of IT: Chapter Two, King’s novels getting the adaption treatment shows no signs of slowing down. The highly anticipated Doctor Sleeps hits theaters in November, and production is underway on The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, among others. Kelley is currently partnered with HBO to develop The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. Bender continues to maintain his rapport with King, as he's helming HBO’s The Outsider - based on King’s best selling novel. As production for The Institute gets closer, more details will unravel, including the pivotal casting choice of the titular protagonist.
Available for readers starting today, The Institute has garnered rave reviews. Select critics have praised the novel as King’s scariest yet. Focusing on the conflict of children overcoming evil, The Institute will likely be a massive success under Kelley and Bender’s guidance. It'll be interesting to see how the powerhouses behind some of the most revered television series of all time will formulate King’s The Institute for the small screen.