• Sun, Sep 4 2011

Nerd News: Stephen King’s Under the Dome Hits Showtime

No, I don’t mean that the book physically attacked Showtime, though given that we’re talking about Stephen King here, that wouldn’t actually strike me as terribly odd. What I DO mean, though, is that Under the Dome is set to become a television show on the network that brings us that other wonderful-yet-disturbing novel-to-TV adaptation Dexter. Even more exciting? Steven Spielberg will be helping make it happen. And Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull aside, Spielberg still usually knows what he’s doing (unlike George Lucas). Exciting news? Could be, could be!

I confess that although King is usually my oh-god-I’m-stuck-in-an-airport author of choice, I haven’t actually read Under the Dome; from what I’ve gathered, though, it tells the story of a town in Maine (because all Stephen King stories are set in towns in Maine) that has suddenly developed a small case of having a gigantic force field surround it. This has all sorts of fun possibilities, most of which concern exactly what people will do when thrust into such a situation. Furthermore, the novel is over a thousand pages long, and if I know King, those thousand-plus pages will be jam packed with adventures– which will come in handy for its impending television adaptation. You see, most King television adaptations up to this point have been miniseries: The Stand, The (non-Kubrick) Shining, Desperation, and so on. The exception, of course, are The Dead Zone and Haven, both of which had pretty successful runs as actual shows; but The Dead Zone, too, started as a miniseries, so do with that what you will. Both The Dead Zone and Haven, which was based off of the short story “The Colorado Kid,” departed pretty drastically from their source material, though, probably because there’s just not as much of it. An entire show based off of a massive tome like Under the Dome (hey, that rhymes!) would have plenty of room to play around with the existing story, and plenty of time to spin off from it if the adaptation ended up needing it. Length, interestingly, is why Stephen King novels don’t always work as movies (ahem DARK TOWER ahem); but harnessed into a longer-form storytelling medium? This might be a very good thing indeed.

I also find it interesting that Spielberg is getting into television so much these days. His early career was mostly in television, so it’s kind of neat that later in his career, he’s coming back to it: Terra Nova, Falling Skies, and the like. I like that he seems to be as interested as how storytelling changes from medium to medium as I am. So am I looking forward to this one? Yeah, I sort of am. Plus, The Mary Sue points out that maybe Showtime might be realizing what HBO and AMC already figured out with Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead: Nerds are in. And not only are we in, we’re a lucrative source of viewing numbers. Time to tap that? Yes. Yes it is.

I should really go read the book now.

What do you guys think? Will this telly adaptation work?

[Via The Mary Sue]

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
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