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David E. Kelley and Jack Bender, who teamed for the Stephen King adaptation Mr. Mercedes, are coming back together for a TV project based on the author’s latest novel.
Kelley (Big Little Lies, Goliath) is set to adapt King’s novel The Institute as a limited series for Spyglass Media Group, which optioned the book in a competitive situation. Bender (Lost, The Last Ship) is attached to direct, and both will executive produce. Spyglass has also signed a multiyear, first-look deal with Bender to develop TV projects for the company.
The Institute is the first TV acquisition for Spyglass under president of television Lauren Whitney, who joined the company in April.
“Having the opportunity to work on a new and brilliant book by Stephen King is an absolute privilege,” Whitney said Tuesday ina statement. “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.”
Said Bender, “I am thrilled to be working with Spyglass Media and couldn’t be more excited that we’ll be starting with Stephen King’s extraordinary new book The Institute. Continuing to work with David Kelley only adds to the brilliance I am surrounded by.”
The novel, released Tuesday by Scribner on the heels of It: Chapter Two hitting theaters, follows a group of kids with special talents — telepathy and telekinesis — who are kidnapped and taken to The Institute, where the director and staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting the force of the kids’ gifts from them.
“It’s a privilege and a joy to be able to team with Stephen and Jack again,” said Kelley. “Stephen has written yet another compelling and brilliant book. I cannot wait to jump in.”
Added King, “I’m delighted to be working with Jack and David, the creative team behind Mr. Mercedes. We think alike, and I believe The Institute is going to be a great success.”
Kelley is repped by attorney Michael Gendler, Bender by UTA and King by Paradigm.
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