11.22.63: Stephen King Takes on History


11.22.63,?Stephen King’s time-bending novel, has been adapted by Bridget Carpenter (Friday Night Lights, The Red Road) for Hulu. Now, available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD,?11.22.63?takes us on a twisty road from the present back to the 1960s in a darker?Back to the Future.

James Franco’s Jake Epping suffers. His marriage has crumbled and his English career seems pointless. But when his friend Al Templeton (Chris Cooper) dies, Epping is thrust into the mission Templeton died trying to complete: he must go back in time and stop Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webster) from killing JFK. But if that’s not complicated enough…

The Yellow Card Man (Kevin J. O’Connor) keeps showing up telling him that he shouldn’t be ‘here’.

Epping tries to save one of his student’s from tragedy as a child.

Every move Epping makes changes something else thanks to the Butterfly Effect.

Traveling back in time is complicated!

While I loved the book – and cringed at what it might become as a miniseries – I found the overall vibe of the show to be aligned with King’s original. I found the ideas around responsibility and cause-and-effect to be thought-provoking. There are elements of horror and suspense (Josh Duhamel’s Frank Dunning is a particularly terrifying butcher), but the historical progression for Epping, Oswald, and the politics surrounding them are intriguing as well.

What options do we have to change the future? What difference can we make today? This just isn’t about JFK and the past – this is about owning our future, and taking responsibility, right now.

Special features include a look at adapting the story, filming on location, modeling the set for the 1960s, and Franco as director.

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