Adapting the property of an author as legendary and iconic as Stephen King is no easy task, but it seems like Spike is doing it right.
Spike is airing its first episode of The Mist this week, and showrunner Christian Torpe knew exactly how difficult it would be to bring King's classic novella to life. Changing the story was a necessity, seeing as how the short book could never stretch into a TV series, but Torpe wanted to make changes that would honor the legacy of King's work.
So, what was the first thing Christian Torpe did once he was given the job as showrunner of The Mist? Well, he emailed Stephen King directly, and shared his ideas for the series.
During an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Torpe talked about sharing his thoughts with King, and how the writer responded.
"The Weinstein Company has the rights to the movie, the original [Frank] Darabont movie, and at a certain point in the process I sat down and wrote a very long email to Mr. King about the changes that I wanted to make in order to turn this into an ongoing series, because obviously we had to stray away from people trapped in a supermarket. As much as I love that novella, there's not an ongoing show in it. So I sat down, and I wrote a long email about what I proposed to change and why I wanted to do it and how I planned to keep the heart of the show, the heart of the story and the DNA of his work.
"I got an incredibly nice and generous email back that as long as I didn't do anything ordinary, he was completely on board. And that was just a giant relief and incredibly generous thing for him to do."
So, Stephen King has given The Mist his stamp of approval, which he made public when he called all of his fans to go watch the series.
Torpe went on to say that, although he was changing the story, he wanted to keep King's identity running through the new show.
"I wanted to keep the DNA of the source material and the King feel. Pretty early on, I decided to go with a new set of characters and a story that is a different story than the one in the book, but I wanted this story to have an awareness of the original story. I wanted it to sort of communicate and reference the original story and the original source material, and the whole King world, in a way, just to be respectful of the source material and the fans and himself.
"So it was important to me to keep the King feel, let me put it that way, and the DNA of the show, the story about loss of reason, and how people seek answers when confronted with something they don't understand."
The Mist is set to premiere on June 22 on Spike TV. If you're a fan of Stephen King, it's definitely not one that you want to miss.