The Institute TV Series

Stephen King’s latest book The Institute just hit shelves yesterday, but Hollywood didn’t waste anytime getting the series prepared for an adaptation. Television mastermind David E. Kelly, responsible for creating shows like The Practice, Boston Public and Big Little Lies, will be teaming up with Lost series director Jack Bender to turn The Institute into a limited series.

Variety has word on The Institute TV series in the works at Spyglass Media Group with David E. Kelley slated to write and executive produce the series. Meanwhile, Jack Bender will also executive produce and act as director on the show. The two previously worked together on an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Mr. Mercedes, which is heading into its third season.

If you haven’t yet heard about The Institute, here’s the official synopsis:

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.

On the surface, this sounds like Stephen King’s twisted spin on X-Men. And the reviews have been pretty kind to the series with The New York Times even saying it “might be Stephen King’s scariest novel yet.” The premise certainly lends itself to a TV series, and nearly every Stephen King story is being turned into a movie or TV series nowadays, so it only makes sense that his latest is making a quick transition to the screen. Having Kelley and Bender aboard should be good news, but we won’t know for sure until we get a glimpse at the series.

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