Stephen King shared the story of the near-death experience that inspired his novel Lisey’s Story, which he personally adapted for the version set to debut next month on Apple TV+.
“Lisey’s Story is my favorite. It always has been,” King says in a short featurette about the making of the series, released on Wednesday. “At its core, this is a love story. It’s a story of a woman’s courage, who would do almost anything to save her husband’s life and sanity.”
King executive produces with Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams, a frequent collaborator of his who was also behind Hulu’s Castle Rock and 11.22.63. Out on June 4, Lisey’s Story stars Julianne Moore as the title character, with Clive Owen starring as her husband, famous writer Scott Landon. Joan Allen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dane DeHaan, Ron Cephas Jones, and Sung Kang round out the cast.
“Lisey is a different thing for me. It’s very close to my heart,” King says. “I had pneumonia around the year 2000 and I came really close to stepping out. When I came home from the hospital, my wife had cleaned out my study, and I thought to myself, I’ve died. I’m a ghost. The idea for Lisey’s Story came from that, particularly the idea that writers, when they make things up, they go to a different world.”
This is hardly the first time King has spoken about his bout with pneumonia, which occurred not long after he was hit by a van and nearly killed while walking near his summer home in Lovell, Maine in 1999.
“I wanted to tell the story that was in the book, but I wanted to make it better,” King said of adapting his own novel for the small screen. “I thought, if somebody’s going to mess it up, I used to tell my wife, nobody’s going to mess it up but me. The story of Scott’s childhood, when he finally tells it, is particularly horrific. He retreats into this fantasy world. Boo’ya Moon is a secret place. It’s a place that’s very, very beautiful, and at the same time, very dangerous.”
The first two episodes of Lisey’s Story premiere June 4 on Apple TV+, with one new episode premiering weekly on Fridays.