[06/13/24 - 08:14 AM]
MGM+ Orders Thriller "The Institute," Based on the Best Selling Stephen King Novel
Ben Barnes and Mary-Louise Parker star in the project, from writer Benjamin Cavell and director Jack Bender.

[via press release from Amazon]


Ben Barnes (Shadow and Bone, The Punisher, Westworld) and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds, Angels in America) set to star in the drama series from executive producer and director Jack Bender (Lost, Mr. Mercedes, From) and executive producer and writer Benjamin Cavell (Justified, The Stand)

The Institute will shoot in Nova Scotia later this year

LOS ANGELES - June 13, 2024 - Premium linear channel and streaming service MGM+ today announced a series order for The Institute, a drama thriller based on the best-selling Stephen King novel. From executive producer and director Jack Bender (Lost, Mr. Mercedes, From) and executive producer and writer Benjamin Cavell (Justified, The Stand) the series, which will debut with eight episodes, comes from MGM+ Studios. The Institute will star Ben Barnes (Shadow and Bone, The Punisher, Westworld) as "Tim Jamieson" and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds, Angels in America) as "Ms. Sigsby." Production will take place in Nova Scotia later this year.

When 12-year-old genius Luke Ellis is kidnapped, he awakens at The Institute, a facility full of children who all got there the same way he did, and who are all possessed of unusual abilities. In a nearby town, haunted former police officer Tim Jamieson has come looking to start a new life, but the peace and quiet won't last, as his story and Luke's are destined to collide.

Tim Jamieson, played by Barnes, is a disillusioned ex-cop who takes a job as the night knocker in a small town, withdrawing from the world until Luke's plight reignites him and gives him something to believe in.

Ms. Sigsby, played by Parker, is the charming but iron-willed director of the Institute and a true believer in its awful mission. She's certain history will come to see her as a hero.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work again with Stephen King. And The Institute, based on his critically acclaimed novel, is an exciting addition to the MGM+ original series slate," said Michael Wright, head of MGM+. "There is no creative team I would trust more to bring the book to life than Jack and Ben, whose creative vision and love of Mr. King's voice, will bring this thought-provoking and gut-wrenching story to life, in the engaging, cinematic, and thrilling style MGM+ viewers expect."

"I'm delighted and excited at the prospect of The Institute, with its high-intensity suspense, being filmed as a series," said Stephen King. "The combination of Jack Bender and Ben Cavell guarantees that the results will be terrific."

Added Jack Bender: "I'm thrilled that Stephen King has entrusted me with another of his brilliant novels and continuing the extraordinary creative relationship with Michael Wright and MGM+." Working alongside Ben Cavell and a team of exceptional writers, to tell the story of these uniquely gifted children, will ensure a suspenseful and engrossing series."

Executive producer and writer Benjamin Cavell agreed.

"It is my great honor to have another chance to adapt Stephen King, who has been generous and collaborative beyond my wildest imaginings," Cavell said. "Also, the opportunity to work with Jack Bender, who has directed some of my all-time favorite television, is truly a dream come true. I couldn't be more grateful to Michael Wright and MGM for putting this team together."


Ben Barnes - "Tim Jamieson"

Ben Barnes can be seen in BAFTA-winning director Anand Tucker's crime drama The Critic, opposite Mark Strong, Ian McKellen, and Gemma Arterton. Barnes can also be seen starring as "General Kirigan" in Eric Heisserer's popular 21 Laps Entertainment-produced series for Netflix, Shadow and Bone, based on the bestselling novels by Leigh Bardugo.

Barnes starred opposite Crispin Glover in a mind-bending episode of Guillermo Del Toro's Emmy-nominated anthology series, Cabinet of Curiosities, and played a lead role opposite Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, and Himesh Patel in the newest season of the widely popular series Black Mirror. Barnes' other recent credits include the lead role in Marnie Dickens' BBC limited series Gold Digger, directed by Vanessa Caswill, and his portrayal as Jigsaw, the main antagonist, in Netflix's Marvel series The Punisher.

Barnes also appeared in the first two seasons of HBO's Emmy-winning series Westworld, where he starred alongside Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, and Evan Rachel Wood. Barnes played Sam Adams in the three-part miniseries, Sons of Liberty, for the History Channel. He received rave reviews for the role of Ryan in the independent feature Jackie and Ryan, in which he starred opposite Katherine Heigl. He was the protagonist of the Warner Bros. feature Seventh Son, in which he shared the screen with Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, as well as the lead in the independent Boston mob feature God Only Knows with Harvey Keitel.

Barnes is well known for his portrayal of the Prince/King Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia franchise. He also played the title role in Dorian Gray, and was lauded for his performance in the quirky comedy Killing Bono. He was a young Jeremy Irons in The Words, which also featured Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana, and shined in The Big Wedding, featuring an all-star cast that included Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, and Robin Williams.

Ben Barnes is represented by Gersh and Luber Roklin.

Mary-Louise Parker - "Ms. Sigsby"

Mary-Louise Parker will next star in Paramount Global's highly anticipated limited series The Gray House. She recently can be seen in Bernardo Britto's Omni Loop, which premiered at this year's SXSW festival. Other film and television include Seneca: On the Creation of Earthquakes and The Same Storm, Colin in Black & White, Weeds (Golden Globe award, Emmy and SAG nominations), Angels in America (Emmy, Golden Globe and Satellite awards), The West Wing (Emmy nomination), Mr. Mercedes, Billions, When We Rise, The Five Senses (Gemini award), R.I.P.D., Red, and Red 2, Solitary Man, Behaving Badly, Red Sparrow, Red Dragon, Fried Green Tomatoes, Boys On the Side, Grand Canyon, Sugartime, The Assassination of Jesse James, A Place for Annie, The Robber Bride (Emmy nomination), Romance & Cigarettes, Pipe Dream, Golden Exits, and others.

Parker also appeared in the Broadway revival of How I Learned to Drive, a role she originated off-Broadway (Tony nomination, Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle awards). In 2021, Parker won the Tony Award for Adam Rapp's The Sound Inside. She has also had roles in Proof (Tony Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, Obie, awards), Prelude to a Kiss (Tony nomination, Theatre World Award, Clarence Derwent Award, Drama Desk nomination), Heisenberg, The Snow Geese, Reckless (Tony nomination), Four Dogs and a Bone, The Art of Success, Hedda Gabler, Bus Stop, Communicating Doors, The Importance of Being Earnest, Hay Fever, and more. She was a member of Circle Rep Theater Company.

Also a writer, Parker was an on-staff contributor at Esquire magazine for over a decade and has written for The New York Times, O Magazine, Bullet, Bust, Glamour, Hemispheres, The Riveter, and In StyleHer first book, Dear Mr. You, was translated into multiple languages and was included on the San Francisco Chronicle's list of best books of the year. The audio book was nominated for best narration by the Audio Publishers Association. She was a contributor to the anthology Anonymous Sex, and her poetry was featured in Three Views.

For her philanthropic work, Parker has been awarded The Woman of Vision award from the David Lynch Association, the Sandra Day O'Connor award, the GLAAD Award, and the HETRICK MARTIN AWARD.

Mary-Louise Parker is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Jackoway et al.

Jack Bender is represented by Peter Benedek at UTA and Attorney Bob Myman.

Benjamin Cavell is represented by Larry Shuman at The Shuman Company, Joe Cohen, Rob Kenneally, Bruce Vinokour, and Howie Tanenbaum at CAA, and Greg Slewett at Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole LLP.

About MGM+

MGM+, an Amazon company, is a premium linear channel and streaming service delivering a broad lineup of exclusive original series and docuseries, the latest movie releases, and classic film franchises - all available in the U.S. on TV, on-demand, online, and across devices. MGM+ is a destination for premium content, with original series including sci-fi horror series FROM; Emmy-winning series Godfather of Harlem; the Western adventure Billy the Kid, the anticipated new series Hotel Cocaine and Emperor of Ocean Park, the limited series A Spy Among Friends, and cinematic dramatic series Rogue Heroes, War of the Worlds, and Beacon 23. The network is also the home of acclaimed docuseries, including the critically acclaimed In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, Emmy-nominated Laurel Canyon, My Life as a Rolling Stone, and NFL Icons,. Premium movies are also available, including Top Gun: Maverick, Beekeeper, Boys in the Boat, American Fiction and Mean Girls 2.

MGM+ is available nationwide through cable, telco, satellite, digital distribution channels and the MGM+ app. For more information about the current MGM+ lineup, go to www.mgmplus.com or follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.

  [june 2024]  


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