Horror writer Stephen King is no stranger to having his work adapted to TV and movie screens, but some of those translations have been way less than great. Now, King’s Under the Dome is headed to Showtime and the page-to-screen adaptation should have potential to become awesome… as long as nobody messes it up.
I’m a huge Stephen King fan but I’ll be the first to admit that some of the film adaptations of his work suck hard. I don’t really blame him for this because Hollywood sometimes seems to do stupid stuff, like turn a short story or novella into a two-hour movie. The gang working on Under the Dome won’t have to worry about this, because with the paperback clocking in at 1088 pages, there’s plenty of material to work with.
Deadline has recently reported that Brian K. Vaughan, the writer of the Y: The Last Man comic book and ABC’s LOST (Seasons 3-5), has been hired to pen the script for the Steven Spielberg-produced show. King and DreamWorks’ Stacey Snider, along with DreamWorks TV chiefs Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, will executive produce.
In case you missed the behemoth book when it was weighing down bookstore shelves, Under the Dome tells the story of a small town that is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world when an invisible dome appears over the area. “Big Jim” Rennie, a used car salesman and the town’s Second Selectman, wastes no time in using the isolation as a way to grab political power. Of course, there are people that stand up against Rennie and there has to be one or two supernatural-type elements involved (this is Stephen King, after all), but the dome itself plays a relatively minor role in the action, with most of the suspense coming from the drama of people learning they’re suddenly living under a dictatorship.
As long as DreamWorks doesn’t mess around with King’s work too much, I think the Showtime series has the potential to be just as good as the book.