J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot is in early negotiations to develop a limited series based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel “Billy Summers,” Variety has confirmed. Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are set to adapt, with Zwick directing. The series will soon be shopped to streamers and high end cable networks.
“Billy Summers” will be Bad Robot’s latest series adaptation with King, following “Lisey’s Story,” “Castle Rock” and “11.22.63.” The novel follows Billy Summers, a former Marine sniper and soon-retiring hitman who takes one last high-paying job. For his last hurrah, he must pretend to be an aspiring writer to embed himself in a quiet town and hunt his target, Joel Allen, who is also a hitman. But soon Billy, who only takes jobs killing “bad” men, grows increasingly skeptical of the mobsters who hired him.
Speaking to Variety last May about his Apple TV Plus adaptation of “Lisey’s Story,” King said, “This is a long book, but thank God for streaming because you have a chance to tell a story with a little more nuance, a little more texture to it. It’s totally immersive, working on a show, and if you’re going to take the time, you want to put your heart and soul into it.”
King added, “You have to tell the story. You have to be brave, and bravery always trumps political correctness or being too careful, but you never really see anything. It’s a little like the shower scene in ‘Psycho’ where your mind sees the knife plunging in but you never actually see it. The thing that you don’t want to do is let effects, sets, all of the wonderful things that can be done with film nowadays overwhelm the story.”
Bad Robot did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment. Deadline first broke the news.