Spike's upcoming series The Mist explores what happens to a small town in Maine when a supernatural force descends upon it in the form of an inexplicable mist. Once this fog overtakes the town and its residents, they find themselves forced to hole up in several key locations, including a mall and a church. The mist is made even more dangerous by the fact that it seems to contain violent, unrecognizable creatures of questionable origin. While dealing with these mysterious threats, the town starts to splinter and devolve, which is made worse by their confinement. If that sounds like a story you've heard before, you may be wondering: is The Mist based on a book?
The TV series is indeed based on a novella of the same name by Stephen King. King's book was first published as part of the anthology Dark Forces in 1980, though it was later released as a standalone book as well. But there's a possibility that the story sounds familiar even if you never picked up King's books, in which case you might be thinking of the 2007 film adaptation. The movie was considered a fairly faithful adaptation of its source material, with both versions exploring what happened when the dangerous mist forced a small group of residents to take shelter in a supermarket.
However, the new TV adaptation departs from the story of the novella, instead taking the central conceit and running with it.
In an interview with TVGuide, series creator Christian Torpe referred to it as a "reimagination." The television version of The Mist populates its story with a different cast of characters and gives them a little more room to move, taking the one-setting story and widening the scope to include several locations.
It also tweaks the focus somewhat while taking inspiration from the book's original themes. "What we wanted to do was take the DNA and heart of the movie and the novella, then expand on the ideas that were presented," Torpe told AZ Central. "In the novella, the answer for people when they become afraid is religious fundamentalism. I wanted to expand on that notion and make it a story about radicalization in every aspect of life. That can be religious or political or hate-based misogyny."
Though the Spike series appears to be very different from its source material, it seems King has given it his stamp of approval on Twitter. That could be proof that even though The Mist deviates from the original novella, it still stays true to the heart of the story.