Anyone waiting for Stephen King to finally slow down a little and loosen his grip on mainstream pop culture, the horror master has a message for you: Keep waiting.

On Thursday, the 71-year-old Bangor-based author announced on his website that a new novel, “The Institute,” would be released in September. That tidbit came about 12 hours after Entertainment Weekly broke the news that the streaming service CBS All Access will produce a 10-episode series based on his 1978 work “The Stand,” expected to air in 2020.

There’s also a new film of his book “Pet Sematary” scheduled to hit theaters April 5, and the second season of “Castle Rock” – based on his characters and settings – hits Hulu in the summer. The much-anticipated King-based horror film “It: Chapter 2” opens in September, a few days before “The Institute” is slated to hit bookstores.

“It: Chapter 2” is a sequel to 2017’s “It,” based on King’s novel and the highest-grossing horror movie of all time.

Also this year, HBO is working on a series based on King’s 2018 novel “The Outsider,” with a tentative air date of sometime in 2020.

King has written more than 60 novels in the past 45 years and has had about 60 film or TV projects based on them. So far this year, his TV and film output seems way above average, while his novel output is right on schedule. But it’s just barely February.


King could not be reached Thursday for comment on his busy year because, well, he’s too busy. His assistant, Marsha DeFilippo, said King was attending a screening of “Pet Sematary” in Florida.

The posting about “The Institute” on King’s website Thursday described the setting as suburban Minneapolis, where intruders murder the parents of young Luke Ellis and take him to the Institute, where he’ll live with other kids who have special talents, including telekinesis and telepathy, like he does.

“In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute,” reads the posting.

King Tweeted about “The Stand” project Wednesday and issued a statement, which appeared on Entertainment Weekly’s website:

“I’m excited and so very pleased that ‘The Stand’ is going to have a new life on this exciting new platform,” King said in the statement. “The people involved are men and women who know exactly what they’re doing; the scripts are dynamite. The result bids to be something memorable and thrilling. I believe it will take viewers away to a world they hope will never happen.”

“The Stand,” about a deadly plague that kills most of the world’s population, was made into an ABC TV miniseries in the 1990s, with some scenes filmed in Maine around Ogunquit. Neither King’s Tweet nor the Entertainment Weekly story said where the new version of “The Stand” might be filmed.

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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