Stephen King projects continue to overrun developmental slates in the entertainment industry, and it doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Now, the Kingaissance phenomenon is homing in on a new platform in Disney’s young-adult-aimed cable channel, Freeform, which is ready to welcome a TV adaptation of one the horror master’s more recent literary efforts, Joyland.
Freeform will continue to tout its evolution after its recent rebranding from ABC Family, now set to take the Stephen King plunge with a TV series adapting the author’s 2013 horror novel, Joyland. The novel is a hybrid of a whodunnit murder mystery and a ghost story, following the exploits of a college student named Devin, whose summer job at a North Carolina amusement park leads him – and friends Tom and Erin – to investigate a legacy of murder in the tourist town connected to a dying child’s bond with the ghost of one of the victims.
As Karey Burke, Executive VP of programming and development at Freeform, expresses of Joyland in a statement:
“We are honored to be working with Stephen King — a master storyteller who understands the importance of culturally embedded tales that resonate with audiences on a deeply personal level. We can’t wait for Joyland to become part of Freeform’s offerings and haunt our viewers as only Stephen can.”
While it doesn’t appear that King himself will be involved with Joyland, screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh (Hawaii Five-0, The Young Messiah) will adapt the novel for television. The series will be executive-produced by Bill Haber’s Ostar Productions (The CW’s Valor), along with Chris Pena (Jane the Virgin) and Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Stoning of Soraya M).
Interestingly, Joyland will fulfill a legacy of sorts as far as King TV adaptations go, since the novel was the second of the author’s works to be released under his Hard Case Crime imprint, the first of which was 2005’s The Colorado Kid, which was previously adapted for TV (loosely) by Syfy with its 2010-2015 series, Haven. The current crop of King TV adaptations include Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes and Hulu’s Castle Rock.
Joyland will eventually join a Freeform lineup that includes genre offerings such as Marvel Cinematic Universe-adjacent series Cloak & Dagger, Shadowhunters and Siren, also joined by imminently-premiering offerings such as spinoff Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, Good Trouble (a spinoff of The Fosters) and comedy Besties.
We’ll keep you updated on Joyland as the news arrives.
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