I’ve been heavily into movies, TV series, and geek culture my entire life, and reporting on them for nearly a decade now. And yet it’s occurred to me that, despite all that time entrenched in this world, I have no idea what the initials in JJ Abrams’ name stand for. The prolific writer/director/producer has always just been… “JJ”. Well, I really hope that at least one of those initials stands for John or Jonathan so that I can now appropriately begin this report on his latest report with “HEEEEEEEEEERE’S JOHNNY!”
Revealed via press release, Abrams and his wife/producing partner Katie McGrath and his Bad Robot production company have been given the greenlight by Warner Bros to develop a new spinoff TV series to Stephen King’s The Shining. Titled Overlook, after the haunted hotel central to King’s novel and Stanley Kubrick’s classic feature film adaptation, this horror-thriller series is “inspired by and featuring iconic characters” from King’s work and “explores the untold, terrifying stories of the most famous haunted hotel in American fiction.”
This is Abrams’ second dip into the world of King, having produced Castle Rock (which also drew on characters from King’s other works) for Hulu. Deadline reports that Castle Rock co-creator/executive producer Dustin Thomason and co-executive producer Scott Brown may be in talks to write Overlook, but nothing is confirmed yet and it doesn’t appear that the two shows are linked in any way despite their similarities. In fact, this new project will be landing at WB’s upcoming streaming platform, HBO Max, and is part of the studio’s recent deal with Bad Robot.
We first heard about this deal back in January where it was also revealed that tentative plans were being made for a live-action TV series adaptation of Justice League Dark, the acclaimed supernatural-leaning DC Comics title. Well, now it’s official. Justice League Dark is happening on HBO Max with Abrams and McGrath producing themselves as well. WB has been trying to bring the comic to the screen for ages now with feature film adaptations from Guillermo Del Toro and Doug Liman both having fallen apart before. Third time’s the charm I hope. There are very few details yet on the project such as roster and casting, especially since John Constantine, one of the team’s core characters, is already on screen over in The CW’s Arrowverse shows. The comic book Justice League Dark roster is massive though and always changing so there are plenty of characters to choose from.
Along with the HBO Max series orders for the above, WB has also put in an order with Bad Robot for Duster, a brand new show based off an original idea from Abrams. Co-written by Abrams and LaToya Morgan (The Walking Dead, Into the Badlands), the upcoming series will be set in the American Southwest in the 1970s and “revolves around the life of a gutsy getaway driver for a growing crime syndicate that goes from awful to wildly, stupidly, dangerously awful.” Sounds interesting.
Oh and in case you were wondering, it’s Jeffrey Jacob Abrams.
Last Updated: April 17, 2020