Spielberg, King Dangle 'Talisman' at TNT
'War of the Worlds' director will produce six-hour miniseries
The miniseries will also bring Steven Spielberg, who executive produced "Into the West," back to TNT. The Oscar-winning "Saving Private Ryan" and "War of the Worlds" director will serve as an exec producer of the six-hour project, which is scheduled for a summer 2008 premiere. Kathleen Kennedy and DreamWorks TV heads Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will also be exec producers.
"We are so happy and proud to be working with DreamWorks Television and Steven Spielberg after such a tremendous experience making 'Into the West,'" says Michael Wright, who oversees original programming at TNT.
King wrote "The Talisman" with Peter Straub in 1984. The story centers on Jack Sawyer, a boy who goes on a quest to a parallel world called the Territories to retrieve the title object, which will save both his dying mother and her "twinner," the Queen of the Territories.
A film adaptation of "The Talisman" has been kicking around Hollywood virtually since its initial publication (early paperback editions carried the cover line "Soon to be a major motion picture"). Spielberg was at one time attached to direct a feature-film version of the novel, but it never got off the ground.
At other points in its life, directors Vadim Perelman ("House of Sand and Fog") and Edward Zwick ("Blood Diamond") were attached. A miniseries project at ABC, with Spielberg executive producing, was in the works as far back as 1999. The TNT mounting, however, appears to be the first version of the project with an actual release date.
TNT has a good track record of late with King adaptations. The cable network mounted a four-hour "Salem's Lot" miniseries in 2004 and "Nightmares & Dreamscapes," based on King's short stories, last summer.
Ehren Kruger ("Scream 3," "The Ring") is writing the adaptation of the novel for TNT. A director hasn't been hired yet.