The Contenders Emmys - 630x423On 4-10-16, executive producers J.J. Abrams and Bridget Carpenter came to Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event to talk 11-22-63, the eight-part miniseries event for Hulu that Carpenter adapted from Stephen King’s bestselling novel about a man who goes back in time to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Abrams recounted how he called King and suggested that he wanted to make the film version — maybe not as a movie but instead a longer miniseries. James Franco stars but at first, before he was even cast, he was a big fan of the book according to Abrams, who told moderator Michael Ausiello of TVLine that he publicly said he was upset that Abrams was producing. That all changed when Abrams got Franco’s email address and wrote him to see if he actually might be interested in doing the show.

Carpenter tells about her fascination with the look and style of the ’60s period setting, but also about how it was important to also have a gritty feel to the project. Abrams was also impressed with working with Hulu and said it was a great creative experience all around.

Click above to see their conversation, which was part of Hulu’s panel for The Contenders Emmys at the DGA in front of a packed house of TV Academy members.