It’s a big year for Stephen King fans, as multiple adaptations of his stories are slated to hit screens both big and small in the coming months. First up: A TV adaptation of his short story The Mist premieres June 22 on Spike. A small town in New England is rocked when a horrifying mist settles over the town, causing chaos amongst residents. Here are six things to know before tuning into The Mist TV show this summer.
1. The talented cast is packed with up-and-coming stars.
The story centers on a small town in Maine devastated by a mysterious, havoc-wreaking mist, and its inhabitants are played by relative newcomers. Leading lady Alyssa Sutherland, star of Vikings, plays Eve Copeland, a young wife and mother out to protect her family, and Morgan Spector of Boardwalk Empire plays resident “nice guy” Kevin Copeland. Amnesiac soldier Jonah Dixon is played by Okezie Morro, a British actor known for Red Tails, and Darren Pettie from Mad Men leads the ensemble as town sheriff Connor Heisel.
2. The creepy trailer hints at many secrets to be revealed.
There’s something about the gloomy, insidious fog that has every character in this trailer on edge. We have chills just watching it!
3. Despite its supernatural elements, the story touches on themes relevant to today’s society.
Like many of King’s other works, The Mist isn’t just about supernatural goings-on; it also touches on important themes that will resonate with fans. The titular mist that threatens the town of Bridgeville, ME, forces the residents to confront everything they know to be true when their existing social order is overturned. How do people keep up their established roles and identities when an ominous external force shakes up their very lives? You’ll have to watch to find out.
4. This adaptation differs from the 2007 film.
In 2007, a film version of The Mist was released, but fans of that adaptation needn’t worry that the TV series will cover the exact same ground. “It’s like a weird, twisted cousin to the original source material. Fans of the movie and of the book and of Mr. King’s work will certainly see elements from it,” executive producer Christian Torpe told TV Guide. “We also, in order to develop it for TV and turn it into an ongoing series, took our own little detours here and there.”
5. This TV adaptation will also diverge from King’s original story.
While the source material doesn’t focus on the intimate relationships between characters, The Mist series will amp up the sexual tension. Sutherland’s character has a scandalous past, Torpe noted in Entertainment Weekly, adding, “She was sort of a wild child, and the town still subliminally holds her sexuality against her. There’s a lot of misogyny under the surface.”
In addition, both the novella and film take place primarily in a grocery store, but this adaptation expands its settings. Torpe said, “We establish different little pressure cookers under the influence of whoever the leader would be in those locations. Each of them come up with different theories or beliefs about what’s going on. Eventually, the story lines will dovetail and turn into conflicts.”
6. The initial reviews for The Mist are mostly positive.
Parade magazine calls the series “fresh and relevant,” adding: “[It’s] a genuinely gripping drama, with fleshed-out characters and high tension.” The New York Post writes, “The cinematography here is excellent, creating a foreboding atmosphere, and the cast is, by turns, clueless, shrill, heroic, stunned, and angry — King’s usual recipe for horror.” Collider calls the show “a must-watch,” emphasizing the “realistic” character introductions viewers will get in the first episode. However, not every critic was pleased. IndieWire gave the show a grade “D,” calling the characters “pretty awful,” and remarking that the show is full of “gaudy gore.”
Do you plan on watching The Mist? Tell us in the comments!