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James Franco to Headline J.J. Abrams-Produced Stephen King Adaptation for Hulu

Warner Bros. Television, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, Bridget Carpenter and Hulu are teaming up to produce a nine hour event series adaptation of Stephen King’s 2011 novel 11/22/63, airing exclusively on Hulu. The series will star Academy Award nominee James Franco.

Described as “part thriller, part love story,” 11/22/63 will star Franco, also a producer on the project, as Jake Epping, a high school English teacher who goes back in time to try to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. However, once Epping arrives and runs up against Lee Harvey Oswald, he realizes that the past might not actually want to be changed. A director for the project has not been announced.

It’s a clear sign that entertainment is in the midst of a shift at the moment, seeing A-list talent and major literary adaptations moving to digital formats as opposed to sticking with the traditional home for an event series like this. The partnership also marks a major milestone for Hulu and its original programming which, while offering dramas, comedies and documentaries, has yet to attract such major talent like King, Abrams, and Franco.

There is no word yet on when production will begin or when 11/22/63 will premiere. It’s also unclear if Hulu will release all nine hours at once following a Netflix model or if they will roll out each episode one week at a time like traditional television.

What do you think, fans? Are you looking forward to seeing an adaptation of a more recent piece of King’s work? How do you feel about the series coming to life on Hulu? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section!

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  1. Brett says:

    This is my favorite King book, so I’m equally excited about it being made into a movie, and nervous that a movie can’t do the story justice. 

  2. Chris says:

    Everyone attached to it is great. People seem to forget that James Franco is an excellent actor just because he likes to do a lot of comedy roles.

    • Lee says:

      Robin Williams was in the same boat. Everyone thought of him as a silly comedic actor, but he was amazing in his serious roles.

  3. RaveGates says:

    I love the book and this just ruined all hopes that I had for this as a screen adaptation, the book is serious and while Franco may be able to act serious he cannot be taken seriously because of all the comedy movies he has been in.

  4. Natoka says:

    This is cool and everything, but I was really hoping this was going to be about DT.

    • Jake says:

      If this was about DT and included James Franco, that would imply…God I just can’t say it out loud.

  5. SquishyP says:

    Really enjoyed the book, hopefully with this being Hulu, they won’t cork it up and change everything like “Under the Dome.” While I get the changes, seems like UtD went bonkers in an attempt to cliffhanger ever episode/season. 

  6. Whytheface57 says:

    James Franco has got to be one of the worst possible actors to play Jake in this adaptation! I was so hopeful about this since I am a big fan of the book, but this is just disappointing