|David E. Kelley Signed To Pen Script; Jack Bender to Direct|
Sonar Entertainment will develop Stephen King’s bestselling and critically acclaimed novel Mr. Mercedes as a limited series for television. The announcement was made today by Gene Stein, CEO, Sonar Entertainment.
Sonar has signed David E. Kelley (Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, The Practice) to write the script. Jack Bender (Lost, Under the Dome) will direct. Both will also serve as Executive Producers, as will Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill Entertainment and Gene Stein.
“The incredible talent we’ve been able to assemble is truly a creative dream team,” said Stein. “That, combined with a story that, in classic Stephen King style, grabs you from the first page and never lets go for a moment, ensures that this will make thrilling television. I’m so excited to be working with Stephen, David, Jack, Marty and Wyck.”
“This is an amazing opportunity to adapt a script from material penned by one of the world’s most acclaimed and accomplished authors,” said Kelley. “Mr. Mercedes is a great story that will translate beautifully to the screen if I don’t mess it up.”
Mr. Mercedes, which King describes as his first hard-boiled detective tale, was published by Scribner in June, 2014. The story focuses on a psychopathic killer who commits mass murder by driving his Mercedes into a crowd and the recently retired cop who makes it his mission to bring him down. Mr. Mercedes became an immediate Number One New York Times Bestseller upon its release. Shortly after the release of the novel, King announced that Mr. Mercedes is the first of a projected trilogy. The second novel, Finders Keepers, will be published by Scribner in May of this year.
“I’ve admired Jack Bender’s work for years, both as a director on Lost and later, Under the Dome, where he really caught the suspense element. David Kelley is incredibly gifted. I’m excited to work with these amazing talents.”
Sonar optioned the book from Paradigm Talent Agency, which represents Stephen King and Temple Hill Entertainment. David E. Kelley is represented by Creative Artists Agency. Jack Bender is represented by United Talent Agency.
Sonar currently has several projects in development and a number of series in pre-production and production.
The scripted thriller, South of Hell, set to premiere on WEtv later this year, is currently in production on location in Charleston, South Carolina. Shannara, based on the best-selling fantasy novels by Terry Brooks, is scheduled to begin production next month in New Zealand and premiere later this year on MTV. And Taboo, a drama starring Tom Hardy, begins production later this year and will premiere on BBC One in the UK and FX in the US.
Sonar has also announced exclusive first-look deals with two high-profile independent production companies – Scott Free London and Killer Content – to further bolster its development slate.