James Franco has been cast in the lead role in the Hulu and Warner Bros. adaptation of 11/22/63, a time-traveling novel centered around the Kennedy assassination written by horror master Stephen King. Franco, who has quite the diversified filmography, has had roles ranging from a part in a soap opera (General Hospital), to low-brow comedies (The Interview) to Oscar-nominated performances (127 Hours). He definitely has a juicy part ahead of him in this 9-hour miniseries, which Variety reports is being described as “part thriller, part love story.”
11/22/63: A Novel tells the story of Jake Epping, an English teacher who inherits a time portal from the owner of his local diner, along with a mission to prevent the Kennedy assassination. As with all time travel fiction, traveling to the past causes far-reaching future effects, effects for the better, it is hoped, had Kennedy lived. The caveats are: 1) If you return to the future and go back through the portal again, you go back to the exact same date and time of September 9, 1958, 11:58am; 2) That return undoes all the changes you wrought in the previous time travel; 3) History tries to stop you from changing anything. It throws obstacles in your way; And 4) You can stay in the past for a week or for years, you will age the correct amount but only 2 minutes will pass from the present you left.
As you can tell just from the summary, the book is fantastic and James Franco, who will also serve as producer along with J.J. Abrams’ and his Bad Robot Productions, is a good fit for the role.
Director Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) was once attached to a big-screen adaptation, but dropped out after disputes with King over his vision for the adaptation. WB TV and Bad Robot snapped up those rights for a miniseries. The miniseries will stream on Hulu.
Stephen King said previously, right around the time of the series announcement that, “if I ever write a book that cries out for longform, event-TV programming, “11/22/63′ is it.” King will serve as executive producer.
There has been no release date set as of yet for the miniseries, which is first project between Hulu and WBTV for an original series, but GoD will let you know. As soon as we know, you’ll know.