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SYFY WIRE Saturn Awards

WIRE Buzz: Stephen King’s The Institute lands series; The Umbrella Academy adds S2 actors; more

By Jacob Oller
Stephen King's The Institute cover

First up in this edition of WIRE Buzz, the year (well, decade) of Stephen King continues, as his latest novel is already being developed as a TV show.

According to a release, King’s The Institute out today — has Mr. Mercedes creator David E. Kelley and Game of Thrones/Under the Dome director Jack Bender attached to help turn it into a series. “I’m delighted to be working with Jack and David, the creative team behind Mr. Mercedes,” King said in a statement. “We think alike, and I believe The Institute is going to be a great success.” This has all been done by Spyglass Media Group, LLC (the new company that purchased the rights to The Weinstein Company’s film library), the first time the company has made a TV bid.

Stephen King's The Institute cover

The Instituteabout a strange and dark organization that kidnaps children with special abilities and works to extract them — seems built for a drama along the lines of Stranger Things’ lab or The New Mutants’ horror (if the latter actually ever comes out). Superpowered kids are always a plus.

Speaking of superpowered kids in a less-than-ideal institute, The Umbrella Academy has begun casting its new roles for the Netflix series’ second season. The Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá comic adaptation from showrunner Steve Blackman is adding a handful of actors as production on its upcoming 10 episodes is underway.

According to Netflix's See What's Next, Ritu Arya (Humans), Yusuf Gatewood (Good Omens), and Marin Ireland (Sneaky Pete) are all joining the squad. Arya will play Lila, who’s adept at blending in — even if that means acting a little crazy. Gatewood’s Raymond is billed as a charismatic leader whose warmth and intelligence seem too good to be true for a series full of misfits. Ireland plays Sissy, a Texan mom that takes nobody’s guff, and whose marriage was based on some “wrong reasons.”

How the new trio will fit in with the adoptive siblings remains to be seen, but new faces can only mean more strangeness for the superheroes as doomsday approaches. The Umbrella Academy's second season does not yet have a release date.

Finally, all these great pieces of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy deserve some praise, right? That’s where the Saturn Awards come in. The genre-focused awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films is preparing for its 45th awards show and it just named a host that should be familiar for SYFY WIRE readers: Aisha Tyler.

The actress, comedian, and frequent host of The Great Debate will introduce such varied nominees as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Dead Don’t Die while the awards show is broadcast for the first time on platforms like CONtv, Nerdist, Shout Factory TV, Twitch, and’s YouTube channel.

“I’m thrilled to be spending a night honoring the best in genre storytelling,” Tyler said in a statement. “I’ve loved sci-fi and fantasy since I was a little girl, and it’s a blast to get to celebrate the brilliant minds and thrilling stories that shape our loftiest dreams and fuel our darkest nightmares.”

The 2019 Saturn Awards begin on Sept. 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET over at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood.