The much-anticipated Hulu series based on Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63 finally has a premiere date: President’s Day, February 15, 2016.
It’s no coincidence that Hulu has chosen the holiday meant to celebrate our forefather’s for the series’ release. The thriller features a high school teacher named Jake Epping (played by James Franco), who travels back in time to try to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Apart from King and Franco the series is being produced by JJ Abrams’ Bad Robots production. Considering the big names involved, many are betting that this may be the first original Hulu drama to make a big splash.
11/22/63 marks a turning point for the streaming service, which has largely been known for its selection of current and past TV shows from ABC, Fox, NBC, and the CW. Hulu has made tentative pushes into original content to better compete against Netflix and Amazon Prime, debuting original series like season four of The Mindy Project and the Amy Poehler-produced comedy Difficult People. This series, though, has both an A-list actor and executive producer.
The show brings Franco back to the small screen for the first time in years. The Oscar-nominated actor, best known for roles in The Interview, Pineapple Express, and 127 Hours, initially got his breakthrough in the 1999 cult series Freaks and Geeks. But aside from a head-scratching role in General Hospital, the actor has largely stuck to film — until now.
As for why King decided to remake his 2011 novel as a nine-part series, he explained to the LA Review of Books that TV has a novelistic arc. “I gravitate toward that immediately, so for me, shows like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos or The Walking Dead — all of those things are superior to movies because they have more texture, more depth.”
Similar to other Hulu original series, the streamer will release episodes weekly (rather than releasing the entire season simultaneously, as Netflix does). Chris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, and Sarah Gadon will also star in 11/22/63.
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