Over the decades, Hollywood has shown a hunger for everything Stephen King, and that’s been especially true the past few years as we’ve seen more Stephen King projects on our screens than ever before. The author’s latest novel, “The Institute,” was released just yesterday, and it seems that Spyglass has already scooped up the rights.
David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) and Jack Bender (Lost) will be teaming up to develop “The Institute” into a limited series, with Kelley set to write and Bender serving as director; both are also onboard as executive producers. “The Institute” centers around Luke Ellis, a young boy who’s abducted after his parents are murdered in the middle of the night. Waking up in a room which looks much like his own, expect there’s no window, Luke soon discovers that outside his door are other doors, which house other kids with special talents such as telekinesis and telepathy. Mrs. Sigsby, the director of the titular institution, works on ruthlessly extracting the force of the children’s abilities. In a statement, Spyglass president of television Lauren Whitney said:
Having the opportunity to work on a new and brilliant book by Stephen King is an absolute privilege. 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.
Both David E. Kelley and Jack Bender have experience with Stephen King‘s material, as they’ve worked together on the Mr. Mercedes series, now entering its third season. Bender also served as executive producer on Under the Dome and will serve the same role on HBO’s upcoming adaptation of “The Outsider.”
A synopsis for “The Institute” via Amazon:
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.
We’ve got plenty of other Stephen King adaptations on the way, both feature-films and TV shows, such as DOCTOR SLEEP, IN THE TALL GRASS, SALEM’S LOT, THE LONG WALK, and more. At the moment, you can currently see IT: CHAPTER TWO in theaters.