Jonathan Demme Adapting Stephen King’s JFK Time-Travel Novel 11/22/63

By David Wharton | 9 years ago

Stephen King has explored many different time periods over the course of decades-long exploration of Americana’s underbelly. He’s very skilled at weaving genre elements together with a vivid sense of place and a powerful nostalgia for the way things were — or at least the way people remember it being. With his most recent novel, however, he set his sights on one of the defining moments in our nation’s history: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Now, as is pretty much inevitable with King’s works, somebody is trying to bring it to the screen. That somebody is writer/director Jonathan Demme, who told MTV’s Movies Blog that he’s in the midst of writing the screenplay.

Demme is no stranger to horrific material, having directed The Silence of the Lambs back in 1991, but this King novel is unusually low in its things-going-bump-in-the-night quotient. Published last November, 11/22/63 is the story of a high school English teacher named Jake Epping who, through a series of strange events, travels back in time with the intention of preventing Kennedy’s murder. Once there, he finds things complicated when he falls for a librarian and realizes just how difficult it is to muck about in time and not destroy the time-space continuum.

It’s way too early for any casting news, but here’s what Demme had to say about the project:

It’s a time travel story. Somebody from the 20th century gets a window back to the past and they go back with the goal of trying to prevent the assassination of JFK. It’s an extraordinary thriller. It’s a great love story, also. It’s a fabulous book.

King’s work has a rocky history of silver-screen adaptation, and idea of trying to prevent the JFK assassination has been explored before, notably by Quantum Leap. As with most things, this one will come down the script, casting, and execution. It’s a long way down the pike at this point, so there’s plenty of time to speculate. Have you read the book? Are you excited about this adaptation? Sound off over on GFR’s Facebook page!