In a competitive situation, Spyglass Media Group’s TV division has optioned Stephen King’s latest novel The Institute to develop as a limited series, with David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) and Jack Bender (Lost), the same creative team behind the critically acclaimed Mr. Mercedes, also based on a King novel, attached. The announcement marks the first television acquisition for Spyglass and was made by Lauren Whitney, President of Television for Spyglass. Additionally, Spyglass has set a multi-year first look deal with Bender to develop future projects for Spyglass, overseen by Whitney.
The project marks a reunion for Kelley and Bender who have worked together on Mr. Mercedes, DirecTV’s Audience Network’s adaptation of King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy that has been renewed for a third season.
Kelley will pen the adaptation for The Institute and Bender will direct. Both will executive produce.
“Having the opportunity to work on a new and brilliant book by Stephen King is an absolute privilege,” said 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.”
The Institute, on sale today, has received stellar early reviews. Publisher’s Weekly describes the novel as “the most gut-wrenching tale of kids triumphing over evil since It…”
Said King, “I’m delighted to be working with Jack and David, the creative team behind Mr. Mercedes. We think alike, and I believe The Institute is going to be a great success.”
Said Bender, “I am thrilled to be working with Spyglass Media and couldn’t be more excited that we’ll be starting with Stephen King’s extraordinary new book The Institute. Continuing to work with David Kelley only adds to the brilliance I am surrounded by.”
Said Kelley, “It’s a privilege and a joy to be able to team with Stephen and Jack again. Stephen has written yet another compelling and brilliant book. I cannot wait to jump in.”
Kelley is coming of the second season of Big Little Lies, whose season 2 finale delivered series high ratings for HBO. His Goliath will debut its third season later this year on Amazon Prime. Up next, Kelley is developing the limited series The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant for HBO, and is writing and executive producing the adaptation of Michael Connelly’s bestseller The Lincoln Lawyer for CBS.
Bender is well known for directing episodes for hit series including Lost, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Mr. Mercedes, Under the Dome, and Alias. He is the executive producer to HBO’s upcoming The Outsider, based on 2018’s best-selling novel by King and was the executive producer of Under the Dome, the CBS series adaptation of King’s 2009 novel.
Spyglass is home to more than 250 film library titles, scripted and unscripted television series, including Project Runway; Academy Award winners The King’s Speech and The Artist; box office hits Inglourious Basterds, Silver Linings Playbook, The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained and Spy Kids, and genre franchises Hellraiser and Scream.
King is represented by Paradigm, Bender is represented by UTA and Kelley is represented by attorney Michael Gendler.