Kevin McDonald has been signed on to direct the first two episodes of the 9-episode Hulu series, 11/22/63, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. McDonald’s creds include The Last King of Scotland and State of Play. He will join writer Bridget Carpenter and executive producers King and J.J. Abrams.
New actors joining the cast of the show have also been announced in Chris Cooper and Cherry Jones, joining James Franco, who is already signed on to play lead Jake Epping.
Cooper (August: Osage County, Adaptation) has been cast in the role of Al, owner of the diner that contains the portal and former time hopper, while Jones (Signs, 24) will play Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother, Marguerite.
Franco’s Epping character is a teacher who finds a portal into the past, specifically 1958, where at the urging of his friend Al, goes to stop the Kennedy assassination. As what always happens when traveling into the past, any changes can result in giant repercussions.
Other cast includes Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold) will play Franco’s librarian love interest. Relative newcomers Daniel Webber will play Oswald, and George MacKay will play a bartender friend of Jake’s. Leon Rippy (Under the Dome) will play Harry Dunning, a janitor whose life Epping also tries to fix.
Expected to remain a limited run (didn’t they say that about Under the Dome?), there is no word yet on who will direct the other 7 episodes, and a premiere date has also not been set. Jonathan Demme was once attached to the project but dropped out due to differences with King.
If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you?
Would the consequences be worth it?
Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the studentsâ€”a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunningâ€™s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jakeâ€™s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insaneâ€”and insanely possibleâ€”mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jakeâ€™s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jakeâ€™s lifeâ€”a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.