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James Franco to Star in Hulu Adaptation of Stephen King’s 11/22/63

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 09: Actor James Franco attends the 'I Am Michael' photocall during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 9, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The streaming wars continue to escalate: James Franco has signed on to star in 11/22/63, Hulu’s previously announced nine-episode adaptation of the Stephen King novel.

He’ll also be a producer on the project, which is from J.J. Abrams’s Warner Bros. TV–based Bad Robot Productions. Franco will play the central character in the show, a time-traveling English teacher named Jake Epping who heads back to 1963 on a quest to halt President Kennedy’s assassination. While 11/22/63 will be Franco’s meatiest TV role since 1999’s Freaks and Geeks, he’s done plenty of small-screen work since becoming a movie star, including guest turns on General Hospital, 30 Rock, The Mindy Project, and Nick at Nite’s Hollywood Heights. Though Hulu has produced some solid shows in recent years — most notably Hotwives of Orlando and the Seth Meyers–produced animated comedy The Awesomes 11/22/63 represents the streamer’s first big prestige play, along the lines of Netflix’s House of Cards and Amazon’s Transparent

James Franco to Star in Hulu Stephen King Drama