Stephen King's Hitman Thriller Billy Summers Is Becoming A Series With Some Big Names Attached

If you're a fan of Stephen King and adaptations of his work, the past week has delivered a bounty of exciting news. Last Tuesday it was revealed that there is a new miniseries in the works based on King's 2021 horror novel Later, and just yesterday it was reported that Sophie Thatcher and Chris Messina have come aboard a developing movie based on the short story "The Boogeyman." And as though those stories didn't provide us enough to anticipate, today we've learned that another miniseries is now in the works – one based on Stephen King's most recent book, Billy Summers.

Deadline has broken the news of this development and notes that there are some big names shepherding the small screen production forward. J.J. Abrams, who has extensive Stephen King adaptation experience having produced 11.22.63, Castle Rock, and Lisey's Story, is attached to the miniseries via Bad Robot, and Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are handling the screenwriting duties. Zwick, who is best known for directing films like Glory, Legends Of The Fall, and Blood Diamond, is apparently planning to direct the entire miniseries, which is expected to be between six and 10 episodes.

Billy Summers just arrived in stores worldwide last August, and it tells the story of the eponymous character: a hitman on the verge of retirement. Before he can leave the game completely, however, he is assigned one last job, which is to take out another trained assassin who has been arrested and knows too much about his employers' operation for anyone to feel comfortable. Of course, in classic "one last job" fashion, things don't precisely go as planned.

There presently aren't any actors attached to the project, which is presently being sold to cable networks and streaming services, but it is worth noting that Stephen King himself has pitched a name to play the titular Billy Summers. When the book came out last year, King was asked about who he would like to see in the role, and his response was Jake Gyllenhaal – whom he called "maybe the most underrated actor working right now."

As noted, J.J. Abrams has had success in the past selling small screen Stephen King adaptations – 11.22.63 and Castle Rock being among the best original programming on Hulu, and Lisey's Story is a great addition to the AppleTV+ library – so we'll just have to wait and see where Billy Summers lands and how quickly it develops. To keep track of all of the King projects that aren't currently in various stages of development, head on over to our regularly updated Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.