Shortly before Stephen King’s 11/22/63 was published last year, The Silence of the Lambs‘ Jonathan Demme secured the rights to the tale to produce, write and direct a screen adaptation. Now it appears Demme is no longer involved.
He told The Playlist recently that the project is “off the table” after he could not see eye to eye with King regarding what the film should be. “This is a big book, with lots in it. And I loved certain parts of the book for the film more than Stephen did. We’re friends, and I had a lot of fun working on the script, but we were too apart on what we felt should be and what be should be out of the script,” he told the site.
In the novel…
Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students – a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane – and insanely possible – mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
Should the screen adaptation attract new talent, we’ll let you know, but for now consider 11/22/63 a project that’s on ice.