Ben Barnes and Mary-Louise Parker to star in new series adaptation of Stephen King’s The Institute

2023 Toronto International Film Festival - "The Critic" Premiere
2023 Toronto International Film Festival - "The Critic" Premiere / Kayla Oaddams/GettyImages

This just in: MGM+ has ordered a series adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Institute, and Shadow and Bone's Ben Barnes and Weeds' Mary-Louise Parker are set to lead the cast. More on this upcoming series below.

The Institute is being described as a thriller series consisting of eight episodes. It's based on King's 2019 best-selling horror-thriller novel of the same name, which can be purchased as a paperback ($12.43 before taxes), hardcover ($16.50 before taxes), or eBook ($9.99 before taxes) on Amazon. It will be directed and executive produced by Jack Bender (Lost, Mr. Mercedes). In addition, Benjamin Cavell (Justified, The Stand) writes the scripts as well as executive produces. The cameras are set to start rolling later this year in Nova Scotia. We'll make sure to share the official production schedule once it's revealed.

The plot centers around a highly intelligent 12 year boy named Luke Ellis who has mild telekinetic abilities. One night, his parents are murdered by intruders, and then he's kidnapped and taken to The Institute, a facility that houses other kidnapped children who have telepathy and telekinesis. But this place is not a good place. It's run by a sinister organization that only sees the children as test subjects and wants them for their telekinetic and telepathic abilities. Once Luke finds this out, he immediately tries to find a way to escape. But that's the problem. No one has ever escaped The Institute. With Luke's intellect, special talents, and determination, will he make it out alive?

Meanwhile, in a nearby town, a disillusioned former cop by the name of Tim Jamieson is looking to start a new life. He works as a local patrolman and soon finds his life turned upside down when his and Luke's worlds collide. While it's unknown at the moment who will play the protagonist, Luke Ellis, Barnes has been revealed to be playing former police officer Tim Jamieson. Additionally, Parker will portray Ms. Sigsby, the director of The Institute. Deadline describes the Ms. Sigsby character as "the charming but iron-willed director of the Institute and a true believer in its awful mission. She’s certain history will come to see her as a hero."

King, MGM+, Bender, and Cavell all expressed their excitement about being a part of this series adaptation.

"I’m delighted and excited at the prospect of The Institute, with its high-intensity suspense, being filmed as a series. The combination of Jack Bender and Ben Cavell guarantees that the results will be terrific."

Stephen King

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work again with Stephen King. And The Institute, based on his critically acclaimed novel, is an exciting addition to the MGM+ original series slate. There is no creative team I would trust more to bring the book to life than Jack and Ben, whose creative vision and love of Mr. King’s voice, will bring this thought-provoking and gut-wrenching story to life, in the engaging, cinematic, and thrilling style MGM+ viewers expect."

Michael Wright, head of MGM+

"I’m thrilled that Stephen King has entrusted me with another of his brilliant novels and continuing the extraordinary creative relationship with Michael Wright and MGM+. Working alongside Ben Cavell and a team of exceptional writers, to tell the story of these uniquely gifted children, will ensure a suspenseful and engrossing series."

Jack Bender

"It is my great honor to have another chance to adapt Stephen King, who has been generous and collaborative beyond my wildest imaginings. Also, the opportunity to work with Jack Bender, who has directed some of my all-time favorite television, is truly a dream come true. I couldn’t be more grateful to Michael Wright and MGM for putting this team together."

Benjamin Cavell

That's all we know about The Institute series adaptation as of right now. We'll return to this space with new information about the thriller series as it is released. So, stay tuned to 1428 Elm!

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