Stephen King Wishes Underappreciated Horror Series Adaptation Got Season 2

By Douglas Helm | Published

The 2020 HBO miniseries The Outsider is one of the best Stephen King adaptations in recent memory, and fans of the novel were disappointed that the show didn’t get another season. Apparently, even King himself was a fan of the show and wanted a second season, as the prolific author recently responded when best-selling author Linwood Barclay brought up the subject on X. User Linwood Barclay tweeted about the show, saying, “Rewatching HBO’s The Outsider, based on the @StephenKing novel,” adding, “This show SO deserved a second season,” to which King simply replied, “Yes. It did.”

Stephen King Gives The Outsider His Blessing

Stephen King isn’t always a fan of adaptations of his work, so it’s definitely notable when he gives a show or film his blessing. The Outsider definitely deserves it, though, as the series received critical acclaim for its atmosphere and the performances of the cast. King has even said that there were scripts written for a second season, though there hasn’t been any news about it.

A Dark And Disturbing Story

Stephen King’s The Outsider starts with the mutilated corpse of a young boy being found in Flint City (Cherokee City in the show). Local detective Ralph Anderson quickly finds that all evidence points to beloved Little League coach and family man Terry Maitland. Though the case seems all but solved, King’s twisty story reveals that everything is not as it seems, and the HBO miniseries developed by Richard Price does a great job of capturing the book’s tense tone.

An Incredible Cast

The HBO adaptation of Stephen King’s The Outsider has a top-notch cast that includes Ben Mendelsohn as Ralph Anderson and Jason Bateman as Terry Maitland, along with Bill Camp, Jerry Bobb, Julianne Nicholson, Mare Winningham, Paddy Considine, Yul Vazquez, Marc Menchaca, and Cynthia Erivo. In addition to starring in the series, Mendelsohn was a producer on the series Bateman also executive produced and directed the first two episodes.

Changes From The Novel

What’s surprising about Stephen King’s sign-off on The Outsider is the fact that Richard Price actually made quite a few significant changes to the source material, such as the fact that Anderson’s son is dead in the show while he’s alive in the book. The series also moves at a pretty brisk clip, which is why the back half of the season isn’t as highly acclaimed. The first two episodes that Bateman directed cover the entire first half of the novel, while the remaining eight episodes cover the second half, which takes away from some of the urgency. 

Season 1 Available On Streaming

Still, The Outsider is definitely a great Stephen King adaptation, and it’s a shame that it never got a second season despite there being scripts and a willingness from the cast and crew to make it. Hollywood is always pumping out a plethora of Stephen King adaptations at any given moment, and they can be pretty hit or miss. You would think that a show that was well-reviewed and brought in a decent audience (including King himself) would be a sure thing for a second season, but it seems like that wasn’t the case with this one.