Lisey’s Story is coming in with a stacked deck: Directed by Pablo Larraín, starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen, and based on a teleplay by Stephen King himself, Apple TV+’s surreal drama has all the makings of the rare Stephen King adaptation that is actually good. Well... King adapting King can really go either way, but for the sake of this argument, we’ll mark it down in the pro column—along with this excellent trailer:
Lisey’s Story looks like it really captures the novel’s blend of eeriness, longing, grief, terror, and fantasy, and who better to take on the story of a grieving widow struggling to keep her grip on reality than Pablo Larraín, the director of Jackie? For that matter: What better actor than Julianne Moore, a total icon of screaming whilst coming unhinged? (Toni Collette would’ve also worked here.)
The series, which debuts on June 4, is based on a less widely known (and sort of underrated) King novel, but like some of his best work, it’s a very personal story: Moore plays Lisey Landon, a woman coping with the loss of her husband, successful author Scott Landon (Owen). Two years after his death, “a series of disturbing events” bring forgotten memories from her marriage to the surface, forcing Lisey to navigate her own sense of reality and fantasy. It’s dark, wild, and really emotional material that requires a creative who can do some navigating of their own in terms of tone and aesthetic—lest you end up with the actual garbage parade that was this year’s series adaptation of The Stand.