Stephen King's The Institute Being Adapted at MGM+

Ben Barnes and Mary-Louise Parker will star in the Stephen King adaptation from the co-creator of The Stand TV series.

MGM+ is checking into The Institute. The Amazon-owned streaming service on Thursday announced a series order for the long-in-the-works project from executive producer and director Jack Bender (Lost, MGM+'s FROM) and executive producer and writer Benjamin Cavell (Justified, The Stand), who will adapt the best-selling Stephen King novel as an eight-episode series for MGM+ Studios. Ben Barnes — best known for roles in Shadow and Bone, Westworld, and Marvel's The Punisher — and Emmy winner Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds, Mr. Mercedes) will star in the Nova Scotia-shot production getting underway later this year.

"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," said Michael Wright, head of MGM+. "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."

(Photo: MGM+)

The streamer previously adapted King's short story Jerusalem's Lot into the 10-episode Chapelwaite, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer brought feature film adaptations of the King-penned 1408 and The Mist to theaters in 2007. The movie studio was also behind 1999's The Rage: Carrie 2, a sequel to the 1976 horror adapted from King's horror novel, which MGM Television turned into a TV movie in 2002's Carrie. 

A synopsis states, "When 12-year-old genius Luke Ellis is kidnapped, he awakens at The Institute, a facility full of children who all got there the same way he did, and who are all possessed of unusual abilities. In a nearby town, haunted former police officer Tim Jamieson (Barnes) has come looking to start a new life, but the peace and quiet won't last, as his story and Luke's are destined to collide." Jamieson is a disillusioned ex-cop who takes a job as the night knocker in a small town, withdrawing from the world until Luke's plight reignites him and gives him something to believe in, while Ms. Sigsby (Parker) is 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.

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

Added Bender, "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."

Cavell, who co-developed and wrote The Stand TV series based on King's 1978 novel, added: "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."

Upcoming Stephen King adaptations in the works include The Dark Tower TV show from The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan, who is under a first-look overall TV deal with Amazon Studios and wrote and directed the Tom Hiddleston and Mark Hamill-starring The Life of Chuck, based on the story from King's novella If It Bleeds; Max's IT prequel series Welcome to Derry; the long-gestating The Shining spinoff series Overlook, which has been picked up at Netflix; and the Salem's Lot and Christine remakes.