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SYFY WIRE Lisey's Story

Lisey's Story turns the page with first look at J.J. Abrams' new Stephen King series at Apple TV

By Josh Weiss

The Stephen King train will keep on a-floatin' this summer with Lisey's Story, an eight-part adaptation of the author's 2006 novel of the same name. Produced by J.J. Abrams and entirely written by King himself, the Apple TV+ series focuses on Lisey Landon (Julianne Moore), a woman who begins to uncover terrible truths about her late husband, Scott Landon (Clive Owen), a best-selling novelist. Like most King works, Lisey's Story does have a supernatural element linked to the human mind and its penchant for unbridled creativity.

“I wanted to say something about marriage, about long marriage, and about celebrity and about the side of lives that are public and the sides of lives that are private—and the door between those two worlds,” King explained to Vanity Fair. He later continued: "I don’t want to put anybody off. It’s not a simple story. It’s not A to B to C. You hope that the audience will understand that there are secrets here — there are really big secrets — and hope they’ll stick with the show, find those things, and unravel them. I think everything becomes clear fairly soon."

You can check out a slew of first look photos in the gallery below. In addition to Moore and Owen, the limited series also features Joan Allen (Pleasantville), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Ron Cephas Jones (Marvel's Luke Cage), and Sung Kang (Obi-Wan Kenobi).

Leigh plays Lisey's supportive sister, Darla; Allen occupies the role of Amanda, a second sister who struggles with mental illness; Jones is portraying Roger Dashmiel, a college professor who wants to take over the library of published and unpublished works that Scott left behind; and lastly, DeHaan steps into the role of Jim Dooley, a mega-fan of Scott's with stalkerish tendencies. (It's unclear who Kang is playing at this time).

Appearing in front of TCA reporters last month, the legendary horror writer underscored how important this book is to him. "It’s the story I love best,” he said.

The show marks Abrams' third King-related project after 11.22.63 and Castle Rock (both of which were made for streaming on Hulu). Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (Jackie) directed all eight episodes.  “He directs in a kind of hypnotic, inside-out way,” Abrams said to Vanity Fair. “His approach lent itself well to a story that, at the core of it, is a very, dark and twisted adult fairy tale.”

King, Moore, Abrams, and Larraín serve as executive producers with Ben Stephenson (Westworld) and Juan de Dios Larraín (Jackie).

Lisey's Story premieres on Apple TV+ Friday, June 4.