David E. Kelley, fresh off his stint on “Big Little Lies,” and “Lost” director Jack Bender are teaming up to bring Stephen King’s latest novel “The Institute” to the screen.
Spyglass has won the rights to the book and plans to adapt it into a limited series with Kelley in place to write and executive produce, and Bender set to serve serve as director and executive producer. The duo previously worked together on “Mr. Mercedes,” Audience Network’s adaptation of King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy which has been renewed for a third season.
“The Institute,” which hits shelves today, centers around Luke Ellis whose parents are murdered in the middle of the night by intruders. Luke wakes up at The Institute in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. Outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents, such as telekinesis and telepathy, who got there the same way Luke did.
The announcement was made by Spyglass president of television Lauren Whitney and marks the first TV acquisition for the premium content company since her arrival in April. In addition, Spyglass has set a multi-year first look deal with Bender to develop future projects, overseen by Whitney.
“Having the opportunity to work on a new and brilliant book by Stephen King is an absolute privilege,” Whitney said. “We are thrilled to collaborate with this dream team, including the incomparable David E. Kelley, and Jack Bender, the architect behind this project, whose extensive directing and executive producing credits speak for themselves. After such a competitive pursuit, we have big plans for ‘The Institute’ here at Spyglass.”
Kelley is currently developing the limited series “The Undoing,” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant for HBO, and is writing and executive producing the adaptation of Michael Connelly’s bestseller “The Lincoln Lawyer” for CBS.
Bender, known for directing episodes of shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos,” is already working on another King project as an executive producer on HBO’s upcoming “The Outsider,” based on the prolific author’s 2018 novel. He was also an executive producer of “Under the Dome,” the CBS adaptation of King’s 2009 novel.
King is represented by Paradigm, Bender is represented by UTA and Kelley is represented by attorney Michael Gendler.