11/22/63 is the best Stephen King novel in many years (one of his best ever, I have argued), and it's wonderful news that it's being adapted as a mini-series by King and JJ Abrams for Hulu. The first teaser is out, and though it's low on information, it's high on style and energy.
But if I'm being honest with you guys, and why not, I have to admit that I've been chomping at the bit to see a line of dialogue uttered by James Franco so I can crow about what a catastrophically wrong choice he is as Jake Epping. This teaser does not afford me that opportunity, but I'm going to jump the gun and crow anyway: he's all wrong! Franco is fundamentally lacking in earnestness, the quality that defines Epping as a character. What other modern man would prefer life in 1950s small town Texas than a thuddingly earnest - to the point of naivety - English teacher? Nothing there sounds like Franco, and I fear his casting will be, for me, 11/22/63's undoing.
But my premature doomsaying aside, this looks pretty good! Chris Cooper is a great choice as Al, I like Sarah Gadon as Sadie (although she's short, but we can work with that), and the creative team headed by Abrams is strong.
For those of you who haven't read 11/22/63 and therefore have no idea what I'm talking about, you can pick up a copy at the below link, and read on for the summary:
Dallas, 11/22/63: Three shots ring out.
President John F. Kennedy is dead.
Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.
I hope you will read it, and you have time to do so before 11/22/63 hits Hulu on February 15. Not in three days, as one might expect.