David E. Kelley to Adapt Stephen King's 'Mr. Mercedes' for TV

Sonar Entertainment will develop the novel as a limited series

David E. Kelley is plotting his return to the small screen.

The prolific producer, who most recently showran CBS' The Crazy Ones, has signed on to adapt Stephen King's best-selling novel Mr. Mercedes as a limited series.

Sonar Entertainment will package the drama as a limited series, with Kelley (Boston Legal, The Practice) attached to pen the script. Lost's Jack Bender will direct and exec produce alongside Kelley, Temple Hill Entertainment's Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, and Sonar's Gene Stein. The project marks a reunion for King and Bender, who most recently teamed on CBS' summer drama Under the Dome.

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Detective drama Mr. Mercedes was published in June 2014. The story centers on a psychopathic killer who commits mass murder by driving his Mercedes into a crowd and the recently retired cop who makes it his mission to bring him down. The book bowed at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list, with King announcing he planned to turn the series into a trilogy. The second novel, Finders Keepers, will be published by Scribner in May.

"I’ve admired Jack Bender’s work for years, both as a director on Lost and later, Under the Dome, where he really caught the suspense element," said King "David Kelley is incredibly gifted. I’m excited to work with these amazing talents."

For Sonar, Mercedes marks the banner's latest foray into scripted. The company also has straight-to-series horror drama South of Hell set to bow this year on WE tv and has MTV's high-profile Shannara adaptation in the works as well as U.K.-FX co-production Taboo, starring Tom Hardy.

Sonar optioned the book from Paradigm, which represents King and Temple Hill. Kelley, who currently does not have a studio-based overall deal, is repped by CAA. Bender is with UTA.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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