Stephen King’s N TV series adaptation gets a new title, director, and writers. 2017 has in some ways been the year of King stories, as the prolific author has seen multiple notable adaptations of his work hit both the big and small screens. Theaters have played host to both The Dark Tower and IT, while cable networks have aired serialized takes on The Mist and Mr. Mercedes. Soon, Netflix will debut two more King movies, this time based on the stories Gerald’s Game and 1922, respectively.
While it’s still too early to know for sure, it looks like 2018 might also end up full of King adaptations. First off, Hulu is set to debut Castle Rock, an original drama set within the established King multiverse. Additionally, Sony is pressing ahead with a Dark Tower TV series, despite the critical and commercial failure of the Idris Elba/Matthew McConaughey feature film. Finally, Gaumont Television is hard at work on a TV adaptation of N, a 2008 novella by King that appeared as part of the author’s Just After Sunset collection.
According to Deadline, Gaumont has now opted to change the title of the series from N to 8, and has brought on a director and writers for the pilot episode. Handling directing duties will be David F. Sandberg, a rising star in the horror genre. Sandberg first exploded onto the Hollywood scene with 2016’s Lights Out, a feature-length expansion of the short film that initially got him noticed. This summer, he helmed Annabelle: Creation, which has gone on to make nearly $300 million worldwide on a $15 million budget. Penning the script is the duo of Andrew Barber and Gabe Ferrari, who are also writing Ant-Man and the Wasp for Marvel Studios.
As with most King tales, N takes place in Maine, and concerns a group of eight stones that contain an ancient evil capable of driving visitors to insanity. In the summer of 1992, three teenagers managed to face this powerful evil and survive, only to have to confront it again 25 years later. N is clearly inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, although King has never been shy about extolling the virtues of Lovecraft’s work, of which he is a big fan.
The premise of a small group of kids surviving an encounter with an ancient evil and then being forced to face their fears again decades later also bears a noticeable resemblance to the basic setup of IT, the film adaptation of which is currently breaking records at the box office. One wonders if this similarity played a part in Gaumont’s decision to press forward with an adaptation of N at this particular point in time.
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