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David E. Kelley and Jack Bender to Adapt Stephen King’s ‘The Institute’

King's new novel hits shelves today and is already set for a small screen adaptation thanks to Spyglass Media Group.

Jack Bender

Jack Bender participates in the “Mr. Mercedes” panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Stephen King’s new novel, released today, will be turned into a limited television series. Spyglass Media Group, LLC announced that it has optioned King’s “The Institute,” attaching Emmy Award winners David E. Kelley (“Big Little Lies”) to adapt and executive produce the limited series with Jack Bender (“Lost”) serving as director and executive producer.

King’s “The Institute” is centered on a young boy with special abilities who, along with several other children, are trapped by a group of adults dedicated to extracting their powers.

Kelley and Bender are no strangers to adapting King stories: The duo developed and directed the well-received “Mr. Mercedes,” a crime drama based on a trilogy of King novels. The Season 3 premiere of “Mr. Mercedes” will air on Audience tonight.

“I am thrilled to be working with Spyglass Media and couldn’t be more excited that we’ll be starting with Stephen King’s extraordinary new book, ‘The Institute,’” Bender said in a statement. “Continuing to work with David Kelley only adds to the brilliance I am surrounded by.”

The pickup marks the company’s first television acquisition and was made by Lauren Whitney, Spyglass’ president of television. In addition, Spyglass has set a multi-year first look deal with Bender to develop future projects for Spyglass, overseen by Whitney.

“The Institute” will be the latest in the numerous string of King novels that have received a television or film adaption. Film and TV creators have worked with King’s material for decades and some of cinema’s most beloved movies, including “The Shining” and “The Shawshank Redemption,” were based on King novels or novellas.

Although there’s no shortage of film and TV adaptions of King’s work, the last few years have been particularly kind to fans of the celebrated horror novelist. 2017’s “It” received stellar reviews and became the highest-grossing horror film of all time, and the sequel “It Chapter Two” just hit theaters last week.

There’s no word on when or where the television adaption of “The Institute” will premiere, but it’s clear that hype for King adaptions isn’t dying down. “In The Tall Grass” and “Doctor Sleep” are based on King’s writings and will release later this year, and three television  miniseries based on King’s work are scheduled to release next year. Those include “Lisey’s Story” on Apple TV+, “The Outsider” on HBO, and “The Stand,” which will premiere on CBS All Access.

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