June 24, 2014 10:30am PT by Philiana Ng , Lesley Goldberg
Stephen King's 'Big Driver' Heads to Lifetime, With Maria Bello Starring
Lifetime is getting into the Stephen King business.
Maria Bello will star in the original TV movie Big Driver, based on the novella from King's 2010 collection Full Dark, No Stars, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett and Will Harris also star in the revenge tale adaptation, expected to premiere this fall. Big Driver marks the first collaboration between King and the A+E Networks-owned female-skewing cable network.
In Big Driver, Tess Thorne (Bello), a famous and revered mystery and thriller writer, faces a long drive home following a book signing engagement. Prompted to take a shortcut at the suggestion of the event’s planner, Ramona, Tess sets out to return to her house. But while driving on a lonely stretch of New England road, her tire blows out, leaving her stranded.
Relieved when another driver (Harris) stops and offers assistance, Tess quickly discovers that her savior is actually her assailant, a serial killer who repeatedly assaults her. Left for dead in a drainage pipe to rot with the bodies of his other victims, Tess escapes and makes her way safely home. With her fragile mind beginning to unravel, she is determined to find her rapist and seek revenge, as payback is the only thing holding her together.
Production begins in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this summer.
The film is produced by Ostar Productions and executive produced by Bill Haber (The Trip to Bountiful) and Jeffrey Hayes (A Day Late and a Dollar Short). The screenplay was adapted by Richard Christian Matheson (Masters of Horror, Happy Face Killer) to be directed by Mikael Salomon (Drew Peterson: Untouchable).
Best-selling author King has had many of his fictional works — more than 50 novels and hundreds of shorts — adapted for film and television, including The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Shining, Stand by Me, Firestarter, and Under the Dome, which was ordered straight to series in 2013 at CBS. He has also penned The Stand and Dark Tower comic book series.
An adaptation of the apocalyptic thriller Cell starring Samuel L. Jackson is in postproduction, and Blumhouse produced a film called Mercy, an adaptation of King's short story Gramma, while Bad Little Kid was optioned for a feature by Laurent Bouzereau and the long-in-the-works re-adaptation of It moved to New Line earlier this year.
In 2012, THR ranked King No. 1 on its inaugural Power Authors list.
For Lifetime's part, Big Driver is the latest original movie in recent weeks, as it has already lined up the behind-the-scenes Saved by the Bell movie and biopics centered on the late Whitney Houston, directed by Angela Bassett, and Aaliyah, to be played by Zendaya.