3:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Julianne Moore to Star in Stephen King-J.J. Abrams Apple Drama 'Lisey's Story' (Exclusive)
Apple continues to ramp up its roster of high-profile originals with another star-studded drama.
Following a multiple outlet bidding war, the tech giant has handed out an eight-episode, straight-to-series order for an adaptation of Stephen King's 2006 horror-romance best-seller Lisey's Story. Oscar winner Julianne Moore will star in the series, with King — in a rare move — writing all eight episodes of the drama, which is being produced by J.J. Abrams and his Warner Bros. TV-based Bad Robot Productions.
Moore, King, Abrams and Bad Robot topper Ben Stephenson will all executive produce the series, which is described as a deeply personal thriller that follows Lisey (Moore) two years following the death of her husband. The story explores a series of events that causes her to begin facing amazing realities about her husband that she had repressed and forgotten. Sources say producers are now on the hunt for high-profile directors for the series.
This is the third series for Abrams' Bad Robot at Apple and joins Sara Bareilles' Little Voice and the Jennifer Garner vehicle My Glory Was I Had Such Friends. The latter marks a reunion for Garner with Alias creator Abrams. Both series hail from Warner Bros. TV, where Abrams' Bad Robot is under an overall deal. With that pact set to expire, Bad Robot has been meeting with potential suitors — including Warners and, some say, Apple — for what sources say could be an overall deal worth as much as $500 million. Abrams is repped by CAA and Jackoway Austen.
All told, Lisey's Story is the latest collaboration for Abrams and King, who previously teamed on the Hulu limited series 11.22.63 and the anthology Castle Rock. It joins a growing roster of King-produced TV series including Audience Network's Mr. Mercedes and an episode of Shudder's Creepshow. King's previous small-screen efforts have also included The Mist, Under the Dome and more. The series pickup arrives after King's feature take on Pet Sematary overperformed at the box office over the weekend with a strong $25 million in North America and a $42.5 million worldwide haul. King is repped by Paradigm and Gang Tyre.
For her part, Moore's TV credits include the HBO movie Game Change, for which she won an Emmy for her take on Sarah Palin. This would be the actress' first series-regular role since her Daytime Emmy-winning part on the soap As the World Turns. Moore, who has been nominated for three best actress and two supporting actress Oscars (winning in 2015 for lead actress in Still Alice), is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Edelstein Laird.