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Stephen King’s The Institute to get a limited series adaptation

on September 10, 2019, 12:38pm

Hollywood has claimed another Stephen King title — and in record timing. The Master of Horror’s latest novel, which literally hits bookshelves today, has been snagged up by Spyglass Media Group’s television division, reports Deadline.

Sound familiar? It should. They’re the same folks who’ve been adapting King’s Mr. Mercedes trilogy for the Audience Network. Similar to that series, David E. Kelley will write the adaptation with Jack Bender set to direct the episodes.

“Having the opportunity to work on a new and brilliant book by Stephen King is an absolute privilege,” said Spyglass’s Lauren Whitney. “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.”

(Ranking: Every Stephen King Adaptation from Worst to Best)

Equal parts science fiction and horror, The Institute — if you couldn’t tell from the banners on our site — is about exceptional kids and unspeakable terror. That’s a little vague, but think of it as King taking back what Stranger Things cribbed.

Or, just read the synopsis of the novel below:

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

Hey, maybe The Losers’ Club will talk about it.

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