I have add 25 HQ photos from the Hulu Original ‘11.22.63’ Premiere to the gallery.
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I have add 25 HQ photos from the Hulu Original ‘11.22.63’ Premiere to the gallery.
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The latest adaptation of one of bestselling author Stephen King’s novels, Hulu mini-series “11.22.63,” launched with a premiere at L.A.’s Bruin Theater on Thursday. Executive producer J.J. Abrams told Variety how an article that star James Franco wrote about the book led to the actor’s casting.
“When I read this piece that Franco had written, it was so passionate about this character, about this world, about this story,” Abrams said. “He was also, in the piece, giving me s–t for being involved in too many projects, so I thought at the very least I should reach out and see if he wanted to be involved in this one with me.”
Franco revealed that King’s time-travel novel was one of the first books that he picked up after having to read 150 for his oral exams as a student in the Yale English department. The book caught his eye, and he was pulled in.
“I had to read 150 books, a lot of them were academic books, and as soon as I had passed my oral exams, I had the chance to read whatever I wanted to read,” Franco said. “I immediately jumped into it — it’s about 1,000 pages, and it was so engrossing. I read it aloud with my assistant in about a week.”
Franco plays Jake Epping, a high school English teacher, who is tasked by his friend and diner owner Al Templeton (Chris Cooper) to travel back in time to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The catch? Traveling through time always puts him in October 1960 — meaning that he has to spend three years in the past until the big event.
Both Abrams and showrunner Bridget Carpenter believed that the colossal King novel was better suited for a mini-series format than a feature film — which it was originally intended to be.
“This book felt too long, too detailed, too nuanced, to condense,” Abrams said. “I thought, maybe the better idea would be to let it breathe and let it exist in a longer form.”
“The novel is 900 pages; it’s huge,” Carpenter said. “There is such a wealth of not just information, but a wealth of story and plot. You don’t want to lose anything.”
Hulu will release the first episode of “11.22.63” — whose cast also includes Sarah Gadon, Josh Duhamel, Daniel Webber, George MacKay, Lucy Fry, T.R. Knight, Nick Searcy, Leon Rippy and Gil Bellows — on Feb. 15 (Presidents’ Day).
After the screening, Hulu staged a party at the nearby Broxton Lot, which had been converted into a ’60s-themed diner, complete with vintage Nixon and Kennedy campaign posters, classic TV sets and a DJ spinning ’60s tunes. Even the food complemented the retro theme, from the beef wellington hors d’oeuvres to the mini pecan and cherry pies.
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Don’t let Stephen King’s name fool you: The eight-part miniseries 11.22.63 may be adapted from the horror master’s 2011 best-seller, but the story about a down-on-his-luck English teacher tasked with time-traveling to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy isn’t exactly terrifying.
Not at first, anyway. When Jake (James Franco) leaves the present for the past through a portal in his friend Al’s (Chris Cooper) diner, he arrives in 1960 (not 1958, one of many tweaks from the book approved by King, who serves as an executive producer). Jake’s not yet too concerned with Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber), who’s still years away from plotting his fateful shots. He has time to settle down, upgrade his wardrobe, and, most important, fall for a young librarian named Sadie (Sarah Gadon) and the optimistic era she represents. “Honestly, this is a love story dressed in the coat of a spy thriller,” exec producer Bridget Carpenter tells EW. “It’s a man falling in love with not just the woman he meets in the ’60s, but the ’60s itself.”
But as time travelers tend to learn, time flies — and history doesn’t like to be changed. As Jake prepares for 1963, the scary starts happening — he dodges threatening obstacles like car crashes and freak fires that keep him from tracking Oswald; plus, he has to make sense of a world in which he doesn’t belong, a feeling Franco says he understands. “It’s discombobulating,” he says of playing a time-traveler. “Jake has to pretend he’s not from the future, so he’s performing. He’s doing what I do for a living.”
The detailed sets helped make pretending easier for the actor. Production aimed to make the past look alive by finding era-appropriate costumes that showed wear and tear and by using historical footage of the Kennedys in place of casting look-alikes. “I wanted not to feel like I was looking at the pages of a magazine from 1960,” Carpenter explains, “but to feel like I was surrounded by 1960.”
Still, nailing the look while also untangling storylines (and timelines) made for an intimidating writers’ room. “It looked like A Beautiful Mind,” Carpenter recalls, laughing. “There were cards packed on every single bulletin board, and some tucked into corners.”
Even more packed was Franco’s schedule. He found time to direct an episode, though he originally wanted to do even more, having asked King after reading the novel if he could work on bringing the story to screen. But by then, J.J. Abrams was already on the job as EP. “I said, ‘Well, there’s no way I’m gonna outbid J.J. Abrams,’ ” Franco says, laughing. Luckily, he didn’t totally lose out. “Weeks later, J.J. emailed and said, ‘I think you’d be great as the lead.’”
11.22.63 hits Hulu on Feb. 15.
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The actor headlines Hulu’s J.J. Abrams miniseries based on the best-selling book by Stephen King.
The 1960s were a tumultuous time, an era of upheaval and protest and change, much of which came about after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. And for the characters of Hulu’s new miniseries 11.22.63, changing that one event holds the answer to a better American in 2016. Lucky for them, they’ve discovered a time portal that leads to a time and place a few years prior to the assassination, so high school English teacher Jake Epping (James Franco) heads back in time to try and prevent JFK from being killed. Along the way, he’s both entranced and repelled by an earlier America, and he discovers the past can be awfully resistant to change.
Based on the 2012 Stephen King best-seller and exec produced by J.J. Abrams, the series premieres on Presidents’ Day (naturally). We talked to Franco about playing a character who is himself acting all the time, and whether he would change the past if he had the same opportunity.
You’re known for picking eclectic projects. How did you decide to work on this one?
I had been preparing for my oral exams at Yale for my PhD in English, and I had to read 150 books that I would be tested on by five professors, so it took me about a year and a half to prepare for that. As soon as I was done, I was like, ‘Oh, man, I’ve been in this hole where I’ve only been reading to prepare for this test. Now I can read whatever I want.’ And I remembered that I’d seen 11/22/63 in a bookstore at the airport, and thought it looked great. So it was the first book that I read after the test, and I loved it. It was over 1,000 pages, but I read it really quickly, and I remember thinking it was really cinematic. Through a friend who knew him, I got Stephen King’s email address and wrote to him and asked him if the rights were available, because I’d heard that he was very generous with his material. He said, “Oh, I’d love to do something with you, but J.J. Abrams already has the rights to the book and he’s doing it as a series for Hulu.”
I thought, “Well, there goes that. There’s no way I’m going to beat J.J. out for the rights.” So I just wrote a little review of the book for Vice, and then I guess J.J. read it, and a couple weeks later I got an email from him and he said, “Hey, I love everything you love about the book. I’m doing this series, would you consider playing Jake?”
Jake is a modern man living in a very different time. Was that something you were conscious of when you were portraying him, that you wanted to act like a modern guy stuck in 1960?
That concept was one of my favorite things about the book and the scripts, was that Jake isn’t from this time. As an actor, I’ve done period pieces before, and in those conventional period pieces, you, as an actor, try to act like a character who’s from that period. You don’t see the seams of how the filmmakers create that period. You just want the audience to feel like, “OK, we’re back in time.” But in this case, the character is not of that time. He becomes this really interesting figure who can point out things to the audience about what was great about the past. Like, the food tastes different, the milk tastes better, the pie is so good. And then he can point out things that were horrible or worse than they are now, like Jim Crow laws and things like that.
It’s a unique storytelling device where the main character really becomes an ambassador for the audience to highlight different things about the past and what he’s looking at. But then, in addition to that, what the character Jake has to do is, he has to fit into the past. He’s not of that time. People did things differently back then. He is essentially doing what I do as an actor when I play a role. He is taking on different colloquialisms or different sayings of a period. He is dressing in a different way. He is behaving in a different way. Because he is trying to fit into the past. And so as an actor, playing somebody who essentially is being an actor himself, I don’t know, it was just fun.
There’s a self-consciousness about how he’s behaving in the world.
Yeah, I love that. I love that aspect of it, that there is this justification — because of the setup — for meta commentaries, or these very self-aware commentaries about what’s going on.
Why do you think Jake agrees to the mission? It’s kind of an insane task, to give up years of your life to try and do this thing that you may not even succeed at. Why is he up for it?
Jake’s life in 2016 isn’t really going the way that he had always dreamed that it would. I guess when he was younger, he probably dreamed of getting married and starting a family and becoming a novelist, and none of those things have worked out. We find him, he’s divorced, his novel never went anywhere, his high school English students don’t seem that interested in what he’s trying to teach. And so he doesn’t really have that much going on in the present.
And then in addition to that, Chris Cooper’s character, Al, the one who introduces him to the time portal and asks him to go on this mission, is so emphatic and believes so deeply in this mission and that by saving JFK, maybe the country and the world will be a better place.
Does that make him the right man for the job?
Well, one of the things that I like about the project is that Jake isn’t a spy. He doesn’t have any military background or anything like that. So he is in some ways not well equipped to take on a mission like this. But in other ways he’s smart and resourceful. I like playing characters like that, where it’s sort of an everyman character who is asked to rise to certain circumstances when he’s called upon.
Right place right time, rather than “You are chosen for this.”
Yeah, it’s not like he’s Harry Potter, like you’re the Chosen One and you’re the only one who can do this. It’s more like, Al has nobody else he can turn to, so please do this.
If you had the opportunity Jake has, would you want to change things? Or would you want to just go back to observe what’s happening?
That’s so tricky. I would say yes, there are certain things that you just would want to warn people about, but on the other hand, if I look back at just the small events of my own life, I know that sometimes the hardest things I had to go through or the most adverse things I had to experience are the things that changed me for the better. Just a really small example is, when I was younger, I did a series of movies that I really didn’t like. I worked really hard on them, but they weren’t movies that I cared about. And after they came out, I just felt so awful. So I could say, oh, I would go back and not do those movies, but in fact by doing those movies, I realized, oh, never make decisions based on career or what other people tell you anymore. Only do projects that you care about, that you believe in, and that idea really just came out of having a bad experience on those movies. So it’s hard to say. Yeah, you want to go and save a lot of people or whatever, but the butterfly effect? Who knows what other horrible thing you might enable if you go change one thing?
11.22.63 premieres on Monday, Feb. 15, on Hulu.
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About three months ago, Dealey Plaza near the West End was pretty much shut down thanks to J.J. Abrams and James Franco. They were filming for a Hulu thriller series, 11.22.63, based on Stephen King’s book by the same name. You were either really mad at all the traffic it was causing or you were really excited to catch a glimpse of the movie star.
This week, the official trailer for the eight-episode series hit the web. By the looks of it, Franco, who plays Jake Epping, walks in a closet because some man told him to, and time travels back to 1960. Man Who Owns The Closet wants Epping to go back in time and stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Like any good human being, Epping does this and the closet land is a bit like Narnia. Except not at all. More like Dallas in the 1960s.
The trailer offers this little tidbit: “The past doesn’t want to be changed.” It also shows a car wreck into a telephone booth, a little bit of conspiracy (“I don’t know whether Oswald is the man who did it”), and Franco falling for a beautiful blonde, who we hope doesn’t end up being his mother. She says, “Everything you say is a lie,” because he’s not even from her decade, but she doesn’t know that yet! Oh, and Josh Duhamel shows up at some point to punish Epping for breaking some rules.
The mini-series premieres Presidents Day, Feb. 15 — on Hulu, of course. You can get a head start and just read the book.
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Hulu Original series 11.22.63 is a thriller in which high school English teacher Jake Epping (James Franco) travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — but his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, falling in love and the past itself, which doesn’t want to be changed. Also starring Chris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Lucy Fry, George MacKay and Daniel Webber.
The eight-part event series based upon the New York Times best-selling 2011 novel written by Stephen King premieres Presidents Day, Feb. 15, 2016, on Hulu. J.J. Abrams, Stephen King, Bridget Carpenter and Bryan Burk serve as executive producers. Academy Award®-winning Director Kevin Macdonald (Last King of Scotland, State of Play, Black Sea) directs and executive produces the first two hours.
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Stephen King’s new mini series will be starred by famous James Franco, according to Hashtag Maine.
Stephen King is the author of a lot of books in the genre of thriller and horror. His books have also been adapted into films which have become very popular already like the classic “The Shining,” “Carrie,” “Misery” and many more. He also authored “The Green Mile” which was more of a drama and slice of life type than his usual horror genre.
Hulu has just released a trailer for the eight-part adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “11/22/63.” The name of the series will now have periods instead of slashes which it will now be dubbed as “11.22.63”, according to the Inquisitr.
In addition, the first teaser of the Stephen King mini series shows a part of the episode where Franco takes on the role of teacher Jake Epping who goes into the door of a time-travel portal. The portal is located inside a local diner. The portal will then get him to the past, specifically in the year 1960.
Epping’s mission in going back three years before the assassination of the US President John F. Kennedy is to try different methods in stopping it. The problem is, however, is to pass the time along the way which gets him involved in the past, according to the Latin Post.
The other actors involved in the series are Daniel Webber as Lee Harvey Oswald which is also the future assassin of Pres. Kennedy, Cherry Jones as Marguerite Oswald, Lucy Fry as Marina Oswald, T.R. Knight as Johnny Clayton and many more, according to the Den of Geek.
Stephen King’s mini series will be launching on Hulu on President’s Day next year which is Feb. 15, 2016. This miniseries will only be available to Hulu customers, according to Digital Journal.