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J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot lines up new Stephen King TV adaptation with thriller 'Billy Summers'

Stephen King and J.J. Abrams are teaming up again.

By Matthew Jackson
Stephen King Billy Summers Jj Abrams GETTY

The work of Stephen King is about to get yet another prestige adaptation from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production company. Deadline reports that Bad Robot is gearing up for a miniseries based on Billy Summers, King's 2021 bestselling crime thriller, from writer/director/producer duo Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond). With the team attached to the project, things are now expecting to start moving fast, with the production being shopped to both cable networks and streaming services. 

Released in the summer of 2021, Billy Summers is a crime novel about a hitman who agrees to take one last job in order to fund a comfortable retirement. Billy Summers is very good at what he does, and he's so meticulous about it that when he settles into a small town under the cover of being a writer trying to finish a book, he actually gets very involved in the telling of his own story. Billy's last target is Joel Allen, a fellow hitman who's about to face trial and, Billy's employer's believe, just might spill all the details he has on the mafia hit jobs he's taken over the years. But the more Billy learns about Joel and his past, the more he begins to suspect he might not be able to make a clean getaway after all. 

Though it doesn't necessarily fit in with the genre fare for which King is best known, Billy Summers was a hit with both critics and fans when it arrived last year, with many declaring it among King's best 21st century work. Now it's headed for a major adaptation at a time when studios and streamers once again can't seem to get enough of King. The Billy Summers news comes just days after another of his recent works, the supernatural crime novel Later, was set up as a miniseries project over at Blumhouse.  

Bad Robot's recent project have included several major Stephen King adaptations, including the Hulu series based on 11/22/63 and Castle Rock and the Apple TV+ adaptation of King's deeply personal book, Lisey's Story. Hulu is also back on board the Stephen King train lately, with a film adaptation of his short story The Boogeyman in the works to debut on the streaming service. 

So, as we've said many times over the last few years, it remains a very good era for Stephen King adaptations.