Stephen King's latest novel, The Outsider, has already been optioned for a television adaptation by Media Rights Capital. The Outsider was only released on May 22nd but has already received plenty of critical acclaim. The novel focuses on a well-liked teacher accused of brutally murdering an 11-year old girl. Investigating the case is Detective Ralph Anderson who finds that although the suspect's DNA was found at the scene of the crime, he has an iron-clad alibi. Thus begins a tale that mixes together elements of crime fiction, police procedural and, of course, King's own classic touch.
So many of Stephen King's works have been translated onto screen that the prolific author has arguably done as much for the world of television and film as he has for literature. From classics such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining and The Green Mile to horror staples like Pet Sematary and It, King adaptations are ever-present on both the big and small screens. However, they don't always succeed. The Dark Tower quickly fell by the wayside despite initial hype and recent TV efforts such as Under The Dome and The Mist experienced mixed fortunes before ultimately being cancelled.
These relative failures don't seem to have deterred studios from seeking to adapt King's material, however, as Deadline are reporting that MRC have optioned a 10-episode limited television series based on the author's latest novel, The Outsider. Richard Price (The Wire) is set to write and the team of Jack Bender (Lost, Under The Dome) and Marty Bowen are acting as executive producers, with King himself having the option to join them if he wishes. Given his work as a director on shows such as Game of Thrones, Bender may also end up behind the camera on the pilot episode.
This news will, of course, be hugely to exciting to Stephen King's legion of fans but, as with many of the author's adaptations, The Outsider will likely attract a diverse television audience, many of whom are unaware that they're watching a Stephen King-penned story. The author is well known for disliking many on-screen versions of his books and it'll be interesting to see whether the The Outsider TV series attracts the favor of its original creator.
As far as the team behind The Outsider goes, there are both positive and negatives to be drawn. Reassuringly, Jack Bender and Marty Bowen are incredibly familiar with King's style, with the pair also working on the Mr. Mercedes television series. Having Richard Price take on writing duties is also an exciting prospect for the series in this early stage of production. However, it's perhaps worth exercising some caution as MRC were also behind the poorly received The Dark Tower movie, which managed to turn a beloved Stephen King property into a film that many felt was too unfaithful to the source material.
The Outsider is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.