MGM+ Orders TV Adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Institute’

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After nearly five years of uncertainties, MGM+ has ordered the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Institute.’ The limited series’ filming will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, between August 12 and November 28. Initially announced in 2019, the adaptation is written by David E. Kelley, with Jack Bender on board as the director. Ben Barnes (the ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ films and ‘Shadow and Bone’) and Mary-Louise Parker (‘Weeds’ and ‘Red’) lead the cast.

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The plot follows Luke Ellis, a gifted twelve-year-old boy with extraordinary telekinetic abilities who is kidnapped and brought to The Institute, a clandestine facility hidden deep in the Maine woods. Luke finds himself trapped in an expansive establishment that houses a host of kidnapped children with powers like his. Their overlords, Mrs. Sigsby and her team, seek to extract these gifts from them with cruel experiments. To ensure their cooperation, the kids who comply are given vending machine tokens, while those who resist are brutally punished. Once experiments on a subject are complete, they are sent to the Back Half, never to be seen again. Luke must summon all his strength to survive and uncover the Institute’s dark secrets to escape alive.

Kelley is a renowned creator and writer recognized for his well-received TV shows with outstanding production quality. His latest works include Netflix’s ‘A Man in Full’ and ‘The Lincoln Lawyer,’ Max’s ‘Love & Death,’ Disney+’s ‘Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,’ and ABC’s ‘Big Sky.’ He is also the creator of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Apple TV+ crime drama ‘Presumed Innocent,’ which premiered on June 12, 2024.

Bender is a veteran director known for his work on ‘Lost,’ ‘From,’ and ‘Alias.’ He has most recently lent his talents to MGM+’s horror show ‘From,’ the music documentary ‘Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen,’ and two episodes of the sci-fi series ‘Falling Water.’ Kelley and Bender have previously worked together on ‘Mr. Mercedes,’ a mystery thriller series that centers on a retired cop who is forced to pursue a taunting killer and bring him to justice, no matter the cost.

A port city on the country’s east coast, Halifax, Nova Scotia, has emerged as a popular shooting location for a wide range of film and television productions. From bustling city streets to tranquil coastal landscapes, the city provides filmmakers with a wealth of production locations to bring their stories to life. As such, there are several projects besides ‘The Institute’ that are slated to shoot in the city, including the third season of ‘Sullivan’s Crossing,’ ‘Lighthouse in Little Lorraine,’ ‘Place of Ghosts,’ and ‘The Trades.’

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