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Stephen King’s The Institute is Advancing to TV

Stephen King’s The Institute is Advancing to TV

Cover art for Stephen King's 2019 novel The Institute.

Image: Will Staehle/Scribner

The works of Stephen King have mainly been adapted as feature films in recent years, but TV’s due to get its own King things pretty soon. Along with HBO’s Welcome to Derry, MGM+ is entering the ring with a show based on the author’s 2019 novel The Institute.

Heading up the eight-episode series as executive producer and EP is Jack Bender (best known for directing multiple episodes of Lost and Game of Thrones) and co-EP/writer Ben Cavell (Justified, The Stand). Both have experience bringing King’s novels to the small screen: Cavell co-developed Paramount+’s The Stand, while Bender directed most of the three-season Mr. Mercedes adapation. They’re each excited to take another crack at King, with Cavell calling him “generous and collaborative beyond my wildest imaginings.”

Production will start over in Nova Scotia later this year, and the show already has its two leads in Shadow & Bone’s Ben Barnes and Weeds’ Mary-Louise Parker. Barnes will play ex-cop Tim Jamieson, who finds himself spurred to look for a missing kid named Luke Ellis. As it turns out, Luke has special powers, which leads to him being kidnapped and sent to the titular Institute, a facility that’s holding a bunch of kids with powers of their own and were also kidnapped to be sent there. Parker portrays facility director Ms. Sigsby, who’s also a devout believer in the Institute’s true purpose.

MGM+ first got in on King adaptations with 2021’s Chapelwaite, and the network is hoping for The Institute to be “an exciting addition to the MGM+ original series slate,” said network head Michael Wright. “There is no creative team I would trust more to bring the book to life than Jack and Ben, whose creative vision and love of Mr. King’s voice, will bring this thought-provoking and gut-wrenching story to life, in the engaging, cinematic, and thrilling style MGM+ viewers expect.”

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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