After an enormously successful collaboration on the critically acclaimed Into the West, TNT is teaming once again with DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg, this time for an epic, six-hour adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub's other-worldly adventure The Talisman, according to an announcement by Michael Wright, senior vice president of original programming for TNT and TBS. This project also returns the drama network to King territory after such high-profile projects as Salem's Lot, one of cable's most popular movies of 2004, and this year's Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King. Frequent Spielberg partner Kathleen Kennedy will join him in executive-producing The Talisman, along with Ehren Kruger (Skeleton Key, The Ring, Arlington Road and currently adapting Nightline for DreamWorks Features), who will adapt the King/Straub novel. The Talisman will be co-executive produced by Darryl Frank (Into the West, Taken) and Justin Falvey (Into the West, Las Vegas), who head up DreamWorks Television. The Talisman is slated to premiere on TNT in summer 2008.
"We are so happy and proud to be working with DreamWorks Television and Steven Spielberg after such a tremendous experience making Into the West," said Wright. "We've also had excellent results working with Stephen King's material on Salem's Lot and Nightmares & Dreamscapes, so the opportunity to bring these talents together on our network is just about as good as it gets. Like those previous projects, The Talisman is a truly epic production, but one that will present all new challenges and opportunities. We look forward to working with this top-notch team of filmmakers as we create what is certain to be a television event to remember."
Written in 1984, The Talisman marks the first collaboration between bestselling authors King and Straub. It tells the story of Jack Sawyer, a boy who goes on a quest through this world and through a parallel world known as "The Territories," experiencing both good and evil in each. His goal is to obtain a mysterious talisman that will save his dying mother's life, as well as the life of her "twinner," the Queen of The Territories.
TNT's prior work with DreamWorks Television and Steven Spielberg, the 2005 production of Into the West, was an enormous critical and popular success. The epic, all-star tale of westward expansion, which was watched by more than 81 million viewers over its six-week run, earned 16 Emmy nominations, an ad-supported cable record for a limited series and more nominations than any other 2005-06 program.
TNT's previous adaptations of Stephen King works include this year's eight-part critically-acclaimed limited series Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, which featured dramatic storytelling and an all-star cast, including stand-out performances from Oscar winner William Hurt in "Battleground" and Emmy winner William H. Macy in "Umney's Last Case."
In 2004, TNT premiered Salem's Lot, a four-hour production starring Rob Lowe, Donald Sutherland, James Cromwell and Andre Braugher, which also received abundant critical praise and ranked as one of ad-supported cable's top movies of the year.
DreamWorks Television is a division of DreamWorks SKG, which was founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. DreamWorks Television is currently in production on season four of the hit NBC series Las Vegas and in pre-production on season four of the critically acclaimed FX drama Rescue Me, as well as the upcoming FOX reality series On The Lot.
DreamWorks Television produced Into the West for TNT, which won the Broadcast Film Critics Association award for Best Picture Made for Television, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Mini Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and was the most Emmy-nominated program of the year. Other past DreamWorks Television projects include Spin City, Band of Brothers, Taken, Father of the Pride, Freaks and Geeks, The Job, Boomtown and Undeclared.