In the Ring with Matt : Stephen King’s 11/22/63

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The Ring is my little corner. It’s where I write short blurbs (or potentially rants) on things I’m passionate about in the entertainment industry.

I’m a Stephen King fan. Let’s just get that out of the way right off the bat. No, I haven’t read all of his books. I haven’t read all of his short stories. I haven’t been to his seminars. I haven’t even heard the man speak in public, but I am a Stephen King fan. Several people have told me, “you’re not a true Stephen King fan if you haven’t read (such-n-such) or been to (such-n-such).” I kindly nod, then gawk at them after they leave, and then continue enjoying my coffee and hardback edition of “IT.”

Let art be what you want it to be. If you want to read every work by an author or see every film by a director, jolly good, my friend. Go right ahead. If you’re satisfied with what you have seen and read, then you’re just like 90% of the world’s population.

The reason I just had a little rant about my fondness of Stephen King is because the adaptation of his novel “11/22/63” will be premiering on Hulu in February. I remember hearing about this mini-series being green lit, and I’ve specifically made it a point not to read any news or watch any trailers. That all failed when the trailer happened to burn across my television screen, tickling my excitement bug even more. The trailer does make the mini-series look appealing, but as a fan of the novel, I’m a little worried, of course.

With the exception to “Stand By Me,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile,” and “The Mist,” adaptations of Stephen King’s works have been either sub-par or atrocious (take a look at the film version of “Cujo” to see what I’m talking about). So my nerves have periodically been building since the announcement of “11/22/63” mini-series, but now that it is 2016, the nerves are starting to pop out of my eyes. I fell in love with this novel within the first few pages. It’s written in the first-person present and keeps you enthralled throughout its entirety. If the first few pages don’t do it for you, then the novel’s premise will. “11/22/63” is about a man that goes back in time to try and stop the Kennedy assassination.

While trying to stop the Kennedy assassination is the main purpose of the story, I hope the mini-series will dive into the other wonderful aspects of the book, especially Jake Epping’s (main character. Portrayed by James Franco in the mini-series) adventures in Derry, Maine and as a schoolteacher in Texas. I’m a little nervous that they won’t spend the time that’s needed for these two sections, as well as for other sections like it. I understand that EVERYTHING in the book cannot fit in a nine-part mini-series, but if it’s only going to be nine episodes of Jake Epping stalking Lee Harvey Oswald, then the mini-series is going to be lackluster at best. There’s so much more humanity and content within the book that needs to at least be kept in as strong undertones or subplots, especially the production of “Of Mice and Men” that Epping directs while he’s a schoolteacher. There is a good thing, though. The trailers, and some pictures I’ve seen, show Epping (Franco) with a blonde-headed woman (Sadie Dunhill), so it’s pretty much safe to say the love story has been kept in, so that’s a MAJOR plus in my book.

Jake Epping (James Franco) with Sadie Dunhill (Sarah Gadon)

Jake Epping (James Franco) with Sadie Dunhill (Sarah Gadon)

I could go on and on about what needs to be in the mini-series and what can be kept out, but I can’t control what has already been made, so we’ll have to wait to see what happens in February. As long as the section in Derry, Maine (with the tie-in to Stephen King’s “IT”) and some major moments when Epping teaches in Texas are in the mini-series, then everything will be peachy for me. I have all the confidence in J.J. Abrams, James Franco, Chris Cooper, and the rest of the cast. Now, it’s nail-biting time for us Stephen King fans because February is close-by, and if you’re interested in reading Stephen King for the first time, then I suggest starting out with “The Stand,” “Cujo,” “11/22/63”, “Different Seasons,” and his masterpiece “IT.”

I most likely will review each episode of the mini-series as they come out, so I cannot wait for February to roll around and bring those reviews to you.

Matt

Author: Matt

Seeing "Stand By Me" at the age of 6 solidified Matt's ambition to be a part of the entertainment industry. After growing up in Northern Virginia, studying film at Old Dominion University and rising from intern to Stage Manager at a Dinner Theater, Matt found himself at a speed bump in his life and wanting to express himself in more of a substantial way than calling a cue or flying a line every night. This need for creative expression pushed him to take on the challenge of getting a Master's Degree, which sent him on a year-long endeavor that seemed to throw obstacles and setbacks from every direction. But now, Matt is a screenwriter with a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a passion for film, video games and professional wrestling, looking to keep the ambitious 6-year-old inside of him alive by entertaining the world through various forms of entertainment.

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