Steven Spielberg is paying close attention to his television production duties - with programs like TNT’s Falling Skies, and the upcoming Terra Nova on Fox - and will now be partnering with horror-maestro Stephen King to bring Under the Dome to Showtime.
Under the Dome revolves around the mystery of Chester’s Mill, Maine; a town that has been surrounded by an invisible force field, which completely severs the townspeople from the outside world. For many, the incident is terrifying and deadly, but for a select few – led by Big Jim Rennie – it marks a means by which to grab control of the town, and twist it to suit his murderous agenda.
While it doesn’t carry the weight of the long-gestating The Dark Tower film/television series, Spielberg obviously saw the potential for Under the Dome right away. He and fellow Dreamworks cohort Stacey Snider secured the rights to the property just a few months after it was published in 2009.
Right now, Spielberg and King are the only ‘names’ attached, but the search is on for someone to head up writing duties for the pilot, and more. With frequent King adapter Frank Darabont's dismissal from The Walking Dead, perhaps he can step in and show everyone how a proper Stephen King novel is brought to life.
Whomever is chosen to begin the process of transferring Under the Dome from novel to cable series, it would mark one of the few times King’s material has been directly used in such a way. The current Syfy series Haven is based on a King story called "The Colorado Kid", but King’s history on television has historically come in the form of made-for-TV miniseries like It, The Stand and The Shining – the latter being a remake of a film, while the other two are coincidentally being reworked into feature films at this time.
Under the Dome is being proposed as an ongoing series, so there is certainly some concern as to how long King’s novel (which weighs in at over 1,000 pages in hardcover form) can maintain viewer interest about a town trapped inside a force field. Given Spielberg and King’s history of spinning a quality yarn or two, it’s unlikely there will be a shortage of ideas, but that may mean a radical departure from the source material – and hopefully The Simpson’s Movie, which shares more than a few commonalities with Dome.
Showtime will likely view Under the Dome as its chance to catch up to HBO’s hit genre series Game of Thrones and AMC’s The Walking Dead – which King has been rumored as a potential guest writer on at some point, though with the show’s regime change, it’s unclear whether that is still in the works.
With Spielberg and King’s names all over this new series, there’s no doubt it will garner a great deal of attention.
Follow Screen Rant for more coverage of Under the Dome as news emerges.